Zebras Open Francistown Stadium With Glorious Win

Zebras Captain Joel Mogorosi and Lebogang Ditsile protecting the ball against Burkina Faso player Kone Djakaridja. Pic Keoagile Bonang
Zebras Captain Joel Mogorosi and Lebogang Ditsile protecting the ball against Burkina Faso player Kone Djakaridja. Pic Keoagile Bonang

FRANCISTOWN: The Zebras defeated the star-studded Burkina Faso 1-0 at the new Francistown Stadium in an AFCON qualifier on Saturday. Playing at the new Francistown stadium in a competitive match for the first time, a large crowd turned up for the game.

Even after the kick-off, long queues were still visible outside.

The Zebras put on their best performance; solid at the back and creative going forward. It was clear from the line up that coach Peter Butler’s mission was to attack.

Even at left back, the coach opted to go for outright winger Galabgwe Moyana. In the middle, he went for Ofentse Nato and Lebogang Ditsele who are both capable of defending and attacking effectively.

Butler’s persistence on the often-criticised Ditsele paid off. It was Ditsele’s attacking prowess on the day that gave the Zebras the edge over the Stallions.

Burkina Faso played a defensive game with Aristide Bance isolated up front. The visitors applied a 5-4-1 formation for most of the match. The Zebras’ best chance in the opening stanza came as early as the 14th minute, when Moyana delivered a telling cross from the left, but striker Hendrick Moyo fumbled with only the goalkeeper to beat.

 Zebras had a goal bound shot cleared off the line, while Nato’s header went wide in the 27th minute. Burkina Faso never threatened in the first half. Their star players, Bance and Jonathan Pitroipa were mute.

In fact Bance who proved the most popular player among locals, looked isolated before he was withdrawn late in the second half.

In the 41st minute, Zebras made a forced change after striker Omaatla Kebatho pulled a harmstring. Kebatho struggled for most of the proceedings after picking a knock early in the match with Mogorosi replacing him.

After the break, Zebras continued to pile pressure on the visitors and it was captain Mogorosi who scored the decisive goal in the 49th minute.

The Township Rollers striker navigated his way past his marker before beating the visitors’ goalie Sanou Germoni with a low shot after receiving a game-changing pass from Ditsele. Zebras have become popular for sitting back after scoring, but on this occasion the host continued with their neat attacking game and created the most chances.

In the 61st minute, Stallions defender Bakary Kone who had an eventful day nearly turned the ball into his own net after failing to effectively deal with Moyana’s cross from the left.

With 10 minutes to go, Burkina Faso coach Gernot Rohr pushed winger Pitroipa but the much-needed equaliser continued to elude the Stallions.

In fact the visitors only had two notable chances in the second stanza of the match in the 78th and 85th minutes.

In the 78th minute, Dambe could not effectively deal with a long-range shot, which hit the bottom left before he collected on a second attempt.

 In the second chance, Pitroipa headed over the bar after connecting with a shot from right to complete the visitors’ miserable day. The win leaves the Zebras in position three in the group with three points, a single place behind the Stallions who also have a similar number of points, but a healthy goal difference. Uganda lead the group with six points after defeating Comoros 1-0 on Saturday in an away clash.

Point-less Comoros sit at the bottom of the table. All the teams have played two matches. Meanwhile, the Zebras are likely to face serious sanctions from CAF after supporters invaded the pitch following the team’s victory.

The teams:

Botswana: Dambe, Boitumelo Mafoko, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Moyana, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Nato (C), Ngele, Moyo, Kebatho (Mogorosi-41), Ditsele.

Burkina Faso: Sanou Germoni, Bakary Kone (C), Issoufou Dayo, Farid Steeve Yago (Narcisse Bambara) Kofi Mohamed,  Ojakadridja Kone, Adama Guira Alain Traore, Pitroipa, Preduce Nakoulma, Bance (Issiaka Quedraogo-79).

Caution: Dambe-83rd, Yago 64th, Pitroipa 88th

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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