Mmegi Online :: Botswana grab silver in Best Brew League
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Last Updated
Friday 21 July 2017, 15:54 pm.
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Botswana grab silver in Best Brew League

RUSTENBURG: Botswana brushed off a poor start on the opening day of the inaugural Castle Best Brew Five-A-Side to storm into the final on Sunday where they fell 3-2 to Zambia Invitational on penalties.
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 14 Jul 2017, 16:52 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana grab silver in Best Brew League








Botswana, comprising six players drawn from Mbeki FC based in Broadhurst, was indebted to the inclusion of Best Brew legend, Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane who drove the young charges to the final. All the four participating countries were allowed to include legends on the second day of competition, Sunday, and that proved to be the critical turning point for Team Botswana.

Selolwane provided the needed experience and composure, which rubbed off on the rest of the team. In the quarterfinals, Botswana dismissed Lesotho 2-1 before accounting for a much tougher Swaziland 3-1 in the semi-final. Zambia fell to South Africa, before the Zambian Invitational beat South Africa Invitational in the fourth quarter final match.

The Zambia Invitational dumped the hosts, South Africa out of the tournament in the semi-finals to set up a meeting with Botswana. The Botswana side appeared on course to bag the first Best Brew League title as they led 2-0 with just five minutes on the clock, but conceded late to take the tie to the penalties. Zambia Invitational converted all three and Botswana missed their final take, sending Chipolopolo boys into song and dance.

The Zambian side fielded former Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns striker, Rotson ‘The Big Animal’ Kilambe. Despite their loss, the Botswana captain, Tsaone Makura said they had learnt a lot and had entered the competition as underdogs. “We played well and we are glad we went all the way. 

We take a lot of lessons from here,” Makura said. He hailed the Best Brew League, which brings people together. Makura said the input of the players on

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the running of the tournament would be critical to further enhance the league. “I am looking forward to our trip next year.

It is an exciting concept,” he said. Kgalagadi Breweries brand manager, Mpho Motlhabane said their intention is to grow the tournament and spread to the other parts of the country, as the inaugural event’s qualifiers were confined to the capital. “It has been a great experience. We intend to go nationwide in the next campaign. 

The competition was exciting and we achieved what we wanted as a business, in terms of what the brand, Castle Lager stands for.  The objective is to make friends locally and international.  It has been a life-changing opportunity for the players, most importantly building relations. 

The cherry on top is that the team came second,” Motlhabane said. Selolwane was excited to be part of the new regional tournament. “It was a great experience for me.  It is always an exciting feeling playing well organised football.  The set up was amazing.  I believe next year will be bigger and better.  More people/Castle consumers will have a chance to register their teams,” he said. 

Selolwane believes the Best Brew League gives other players who never had a chance to crack it into mainstream football, the opportunity to experience competition at higher level. The competition drew teams from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with Tanzania and Namibia’s representatives absent. 

Southern Africa’s legends, Brian Baloyi (South Africa), Kilambe (Zambia), Selolwane (Botswana), Emmanuel ‘Tico Tico’ Bucuane (Mozambique), Letlhogonolo Seema (Lesotho) and Tinashe Nengomasha were the Castle Best Brew League ambassadors.

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