Many will remember the Zebras' 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Guinea in their debut appearance at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The score line in Botswana’s second match at the finals was the worst in that year’s tournament, but the Zebras had something to celebrate.
They managed their first ever AFCON finals goal, which came via the boot of the celebrated Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane.
At the time, the Zebras were trailing 1-0 in the first half, and the goal briefly reignited hopes of an upset. In the 22nd minute, Zebras were awarded a penalty and nerves probably ran through the team and a few were brave enough to step forward. Selolwane, in a recent Facebook post, reveals that his teammates all looked up to him to take the responsibility.
“The penalty that almost defined my legacy; when the referee blew for the pk (penalty kick) I walked directly to the penalty spot to wait for whoever was feeling confident enough to take it. I wanted to look them in the eye to see if they believed they could do it. JJ (Jerome Ramatlhakwana) was our leading scorer so I expected him to come with the ball to show confidence,” Selolwane said.
“We locked eyes and he handed it to me like he agreed that it was my responsibility too. He gave it to me like he agreed that my whole career had built up to that moment. I had to act cool, but the pressure of taking it overwhelmed me a little.” Selolwane who at the time was playing in South Africa said when he stepped up, his heart, body and soul, were not one.
It made me believe that it was truly my moment to write my name in Botswana football history,” Selolwane added. In his second attempt, Selolwane beat the Guinea goalkeeper to the top right corner to give Zebras an equaliser before Guinea returned with guns blazing to score five more goals.
Meanwhile, Selolwane and his history making Zebras captain, Mompati Thuma are likely to miss out on the starting 11 when Zebras legends take on African legends in a friendly match scheduled for May 29, 2020. The match is part of the Footballers Union of Botswana’s (FUB) 10-year anniversary celebrations. Selolwane has so far only garnered 313 votes while Thuma has only 56. Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul is still leading the pool with 1,752 votes followed by Tshepiso Molwantwa with 1,071. Sekhana Koko is closely third with 1,022 while Onalethata Tshekiso garnered 860 votes.