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Gems born from Zebras’ calamitous campaign

The future is bright: Molebatsi PIC: BFA
A solitary win in six games sums up how disastrous the Zebras’ 2021 AFCON qualifiers was. Only two goals were scored whilst nine were conceded. To sum up it all, the Zebras got a ‘chesa mpama’ in a 5-0 defeat away to Algeria on Monday, a decade after the team secured its maiden AFCON qualification. It was a campaign full of negatives, but there was a silver lining as some Zebras earned their stripes, writes Mmegi Sport Correspondent, KABELO BORANABI

Onkarabile Ratanang had a torrid night in Algiers on Monday, where he was assigned to deal with Desert Foxes captain and Manchester City star, Riyad Mahrez but Ratanang looks set for a future with the team.

A fully fit Lesenya Ramoraka would have been a natural pick at left full-back. But the former Highlands Park’s absence for the majority of the campaign left the spot open. It was fiercely contested by Gaborone United’s latest acquisition, Mothusi Johnson while former Under 20 star, Kitso Mangolo and just recently Moagi Sechele were thrown into the mix. Ratanang started four of the games, making the spot his own.

A serious threat in dead ball situation, but lacks the pace and aggression of fellow competitors. The position has serious talent contending and it remains to be seen if Adel Amrouche will stick with the Township Rollers star in the future. As for Gape Gaogangwe; questions were asked over the 23-year-old’s inclusion in the team ahead of the home game against

Algeria in November 2019. This followed the omission of Lebogang Ditsele from the team. Gaogangwe has however proven his critics wrong.

He started on a wrong footing as he was sent off against Algeria at the National Stadium. The Orapa United man has all the credentials of a midfield enforcer.

He is good in the air, a ballplayer and a hard tackler. He slotted straight back into the team following his suspension for the last two games and that proves the faith the coaches have in him.  From Nelson ‘Viola’ Gabolelwe to Joel Mogorosi to Kabelo Seakanyeng, now enters Tlhalefo Molebatsi.

The Rollers winger has all the qualities of the classic Zebras’ attacking player on the wing. Alongside, Seakanyeng on the wings, he was troublesome at home against Algeria in 2019. He started two games in the campaign and looks set to be one of the first names on Amrouche’s list. He looks set to be a starter as the Zebras restructure for the future.


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