'Half baked’ Under-20 face South Africa

Under 20 woman team Botswana.PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Under 20 woman team Botswana.PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The football rivalry between Botswana and South Africa will be revived as the neighbouring countries meet in the first leg of the Under-20 women’s World Cup qualifiers at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The local team has struggled against their counterparts in recent games,  with the latest meeting resulting in South Africa knocking Botswana out the All Africa Games qualifiers at senior level.

But Under-20 coach Sepheko Motlhagodi is optimistic that his team will bring good results against their opponents, despite having minimum time to prepare for the clash.

Motlhagodi said he would have preferred to have at least two weeks to prepare but the players reported for camp a week before the game.

“We long invited the players for camp and hoped we would have two weeks of preparation, but due the to ongoing Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) competitions the players only arrived for camp this week,” he said.

Motlhagodi admitted that he had not had the opportunity to study his opponents, but expressed confidence that the little preparation he had with the team would be enough to secure a win.

“We did not send any scouts to South Africa due to financial constraints. We had practice match on Sunday, which helped us analyse the team. We will have another practice match today (yesterday) against Police XI’s Under-17 side. I believe that after this match we will then be ready to face South Africa,” he said.

The team’s captain, Refilwe Tholakele said the team is well prepared and would bring better results on Sunday.

The team was boosted by the arrival of seasoned players: Masego Koboto, Sedilame Bosija and Refilwe Matlho.

The trio has been in the national set up for a while. Koboto finished as the women’s league top goal scorer with a tally of 24 goals, while goalkeeper Bosija kept 17 clean sheets for her Township Rollers side.

The team leaves for South Africa today (Thursday) and will have a practice session at the match venue on the eve of the game. The last time the two teams met South Africa emerged 3-1 victors.


The squad:

Goalkeepers: Sedilame Bosija (Rollers), Tumisang Masinga ( Lotsane Senior), Bame Mokibe( Ntebogang CJSS), Lame Basimanyana.

Defenders:  Oratile Baraedi (BMC), Bokamoso Moalosi (Madirelo VT), Gorata Morekolodi (Mogoditshane Senior School), Thato Tumelo (Moshupa Senior),  Nancy Baeletsi(Nata), Gofamodimo Macha (Naledi),

Fridah Lifi (Mogoditshane Senior School).

Midfielders: Matlho(BMC), Marea Keabaitse (Seepapitso CJSS), Semphete Segwati (Matshekge), Kelebogile Magaga (McConnell College), Warona Mashumba(Mogoditshane Senior), Wame Letshelea (Mogoditsane Senior). Boitshoko Moalosi(Rollers), Thato Mosalakate (Rollers), Refilwe Lentswe (Prisons), Banyana Thekiso (Molefi Senior).

Strikers: Koboto (Rollers), Gadzanami Nelson (McConnell College), Oteng Bonang (Orapa CJSS), Maatla Thobogang (Rollers), Segolame Kampedi(Double Action), Banyanabotlhe Sedimo (Double Action), Naledi Blacky (Chester City), Vivian Moshomane (Mogoditshane Senior), Lesego Radikanyo(Mogoditshane Senior School).

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