The Monitor :: Under-17 Girls Stage Dramatic Comeback
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Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
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Under-17 Girls Stage Dramatic Comeback

The national Under-17 girls’ team has qualified for the first round of next year’s World Cup qualifiers after beating Zambia 4-0 to advance on a 6-5 aggregate score-line.
By Kabelo Boranabi Mon 30 Oct 2017, 14:35 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Under-17 Girls Stage Dramatic Comeback








The local girls lost 5-2 in an away match played in Zambia a fortnight ago but showed great character in the second leg encounter played at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday.

Trailing by three goals, the local side took the game to their opponents from the first minute. The team was eventually rewarded for their efforts when lanky striker, Mitchell Abueng opened the scoring with a clinical finish at the bottom corner in the 14th minute. Two minutes later, Zambia nearly levelled the scores but Atang Sedimonyane superbly denied Lydia Mubanga in a one on one situation. Abueng doubled Botswana’s lead in the 36th minute when she got at the end of a long ball from the back and chipped over the advancing keeper and into an empty net. Zebras full back Letso Botlhale ballooned her effort in the 42nd minute following a sublime counter attack.

The local girls took a two-goal lead into the break. After the recess, Botswana continued to pile pressure on their opponents looking for the third goal. The team missed a couple of chances as they played long balls from the back while Zambia resorted to transitional football. Botswana was awarded a free kick, 20 minutes into the second half and Lone Gaofetoge beat the keeper to the top corner to extend the local side’s lead.

Fatigue seemed to be catching up with the visitors who had a lion’s share of the ball possession but were let down by the final ball.

With only three minutes to time, Abueng received a long ball from

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the keeper, overpowered two defenders and slotted at the near post to send the crowd into wild celebrations with her hat-trick. The Zebras kept it tight at the back until the final whistle. Botswana will face nemesis, South Africa in the next round. “It was tough. We had to look at some means of how we could come back although we had a few days to prepare. I’m happy. I had told the girls that we should force a win and if we go through we will plan properly for our opponents,” Botswana’s coach, Odirile Matlhaku said after the game.

His opposite number, Kaluba Kangwa was not impressed with his team’s display and blamed the travelling glitches. “Our team was tactically superior than our colleagues. The player who scored was in an offside position and the referees did not react. We had not had a feel of the pitch due to our late arrival but I would not dwell much on that,” he said.

 

The Teams

Botswana: Atang Sedimonyane, Gloria Pilane, Basego Sembuwa, Letso Botlhale, Kaone Kgokong, Lone Gaofetoge, Mitchell Abueng, Keitumetse Dithebe, Oratile Rakgari (Boitumelo Mmopoloki), Esalenna Galekhutli, Pearl George

Zambia: Jennifer Lubebe, Constance Kamusa, Diana Banda, Simakutu Nyambe, Thelma Phiri, Esnary Kangwa, Mercy Nthala, Mary Mwambwe, Lydia Mubanga (Okumba Lubanji), Salome Phiri, Christabel Phiri

 

Botswana 4 (Abueng 14th, 36th, 87th, Gaofetoge 65th) 
Zambia 0

Botswana 4 (Abueng 14th, 36th, 87th, Gaofetoge 65th) 

Zambia 0

 

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