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Mares set-up Banyana date

KABELO BORANABI
Women's team PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Mares' attacker, Nondi Mahlasela's brace was enough to help the women's senior team advance to the second round of the 2020 Olympic Games. The team played to a 2-2 draw with Namibia in the second leg of the first round of the qualifiers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Tuesday evening as they advanced on a 3-2 aggregate score.

The local girls beat their opponents by a solitary goal with a brave performance in the first leg played on Friday evening at the National Stadium. 

Last evening, the Brave Gladiators' coach, Brian Isaacs made three changes to the team that faced the Mares four days earlier, with the most notable being veteran goalkeeper, Lydia Eixas replacing 20-year-old Melissa Matheus. The locals remained unchanged, as head coach, Gaolethoo Nkutlwisang returned to the technical bench.

In front of a small crowd in Windhoek, the Mares were given a scare as Namibia took the lead through centre back, Lovisa Mulunga just eight minutes into game.

Mahlasela swiftly replied seven minutes later with a beautifully placed shot past the keeper. Namibia regained the lead just a

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few minutes before the break through skipper, Zenatha Coleman but Mahlasela kept the local girls in the game with yet another goal seven minutes into the second half.

The Mares will play perennial tormenters, Banyana Banyana in the second round of qualifiers during the August/September FIFA break. Banyana was one of the two teams that represented Africa at the 2016 Olympic games.

The southern neighbor reached the final of the African Women Championships late last year where they went down on penalties to Nigeria and have booked a place the World Cup scheduled for June this year.

Botswana has never won a game against South Africa, as the most positive result has been a 1-1 draw in last year's COSAFA Championships.



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