We're still in the race – da Rosa

Da Rosa taking the Zebras through their paces before the Somalia game. PIC: BFA
Da Rosa taking the Zebras through their paces before the Somalia game. PIC: BFA

Zebras coach, Didier Gomes da Rosa says his team is still very much in the race to qualify for the 2026 World Cup after the side returned to winning ways yesterday, defeating Somalia 3-1 in Maputo, Mozambique.

With four matches played, Botswana sits third with six out of a possible 12. The Zebras trail joint leaders Algeria and Mozambique by three points with six games remaining.

“We are very committed and we fight for the same target. Today we have six points in the World Cup qualifiers, which is really not bad. So, we are still in the race and it was really important for us to win this game,” da Rosa said.

Not only was da Rosa impressed with the results, but he stated that he was pleased with his charges' display as they managed to find an early goal and continued probing for the second goal.

“Today was a better performance from the boys. We watched the videos of Somalia and it was impossible to underestimate them. So, after this game for sure, I can say I am very proud of the players. They started the match very well as we planned and scored early in the match,” he said. Zebras broke a three-game goalless run with Thabang Sesinyi’s strike with only 10 minutes on the clock. Mosha Gaolaolwe doubled the lead after the recess. Kabelo Seakanyeng capitalised from the spot to put Zebras 3-0 late on. With 15 minutes left, Somalia pulled one back through Sak Hassan.

Da Rosa’s charges will resume the World Cup qualifiers next year in March on home soil with back-to-back matches against Algeria and Somalia. The nine group winners will qualify automatically for the 2026 World Cup while the four best runners-up will then compete for one place at a FIFA Play-Off tournament.

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