Mmegi Online :: Winless Young Zebras crash out of COSAFA
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Winless Young Zebras crash out of COSAFA

MORULENG: The national Under-20 side has been eliminated without a single victory from the COSAFA Youth Championships which is underway here.
By Calistus Kolantsho Wed 14 Dec 2016, 13:03 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Winless Young Zebras crash out of COSAFA








The 1-0 loss to South Africa on Monday evening confirmed their winless campaign at this year’s event where they also failed to score a single goal.

Siyabonga Mbatha scored the only goal of the match for South Africa against Botswana in the 65th-minute. The Young Zebras kicked off their campaign against a stubborn Swaziland where they lost 2-0. They went onto go down 1-0 to Lesotho in the next match of the group. They have conceded a total of four goals in the tournament.

Young Zebras coach, George Mogopodi told Mmegi Sport that they had played well against the host but were unfortunate that they lost and conceded a goal at a crucial time.

He said sometimes luck plays a critical role in football and that his side lacked it on the day. Mogopodi felt Botswana played well even against Lesotho unlike in the first match against Swaziland. He said the intention is to take the lessons picked from the COSAFA competition back home and see where they can improve.

He said the tournament was a learning experience for the players because most of them have never been exposed to the international stage. “Before we came here, we never had any international friendly. It was their first time to play at this level. We could

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have done better but we did not have friendly matches before coming here. That on its own had an impact in our performance,” he said.

Mogopodi said other countries like Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Lesotho have good players who have shown that they are going somewhere. Regarding the future of the team, Mogopodi recommended that they should be kept together to become the national Under-23 team. He said with the Under-20, they will go around and identify new players.

“The BFA has introduced the Youth Programme which I believe we should use to its full advantage. We should take a leaf from other countries that we competed with,” he said.

South African coach, Thabo Senong said Botswana had a brilliant team and they had a good game plan.

He said the Young Zebras dominated them aerially, but it was key for his charges to always keep the ball and make sure Botswana does not take it. “They looked dangerous when holding the ball. All our opponents that we played were dangerous and had different plans. Botswana had a direct approach. We are happy that we learnt a few things from our opposition,” he said. He admitted that South Africa was inconsistent in some areas.

The next assignment for the host is against Angola.

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