Mmegi Online :: Tough road as U17 girls chase history
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Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:34 pm.
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Tough road as U17 girls chase history

The Under-17 girls’ soccer side staged a memorable comeback when they reversed a three-goal deficit to beat Zambia 4-0 and proceed to the first round of the World Cup qualifiers. It had appeared mission impossible, when an under-prepared side left for Lusaka two weeks ago.
By Staff Writer Wed 01 Nov 2017, 14:09 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Tough road as U17 girls chase history








It got even worse when the junior Zebras trailed 3-0 at half time of the first leg. Multiple changes to the technical team did not help matters.

There were no less than four coaches who were at the helm between the two legs. Odirile ‘China’ Matlhaku is the latest to take charge of the team, which defied the technical instability to shock the Zambians.

The Lobatse crowd was sparse, but the girls’ display deserves more bodies on the terraces to spur them on as they take on South Africa in the first round.

It will not be easy, as it was the case against Zambia, but the young girls should be motivated enough to go all the way against South Africa.

The junior Banyana Banyana are expected to pose a tougher challenge for Botswana, but if what the fans saw last Friday is the proper yardstick, South Africa might be in for a shock.

The road has been more like from the frying fan into the fire for the gallant girls, as Equatorial Guinea

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and Morocco lie in wait if they conquer South Africa.

Victory in the second round will mean a first ever World Cup appearance for any local football side. Matlhaku said the two goals they scored away in Zambia were crucial. “I said if they can score two in the second half when they were trailing 3-0 at half time, showed they did not put their hands down,” he said.

The former Under-20 boys’ coach said he does not know much about South Africa as he is still gathering information. The South African coach was reportedly in the crowd in Lobatse to spy on the local girls.

Matlhaku said while they would want to play an international friendly encounter, it will be difficult as most nations are not participating in the qualifiers.

He said the preparations for the South Africa tie will proceed mostly over the weekends as the players are writing examinations.

“It is only after the 17th (November) that we will get together for a camp and intensify preparations,” he added.

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