Young Zebras, Young Chipolopolo Draw

| May 25, 2015

Botswana Under 23 football team, the Young Zebras came from behind to hold their Zambian counterparts to a one all draw in a crucial Olympics and CAF Championship qualifier match played at the New Lobatse stadium Friday (May 22) night.

The Zambians known, as Young Chipolopolo, started the clash on a high and dominated the match for a good share of the first half while the Zebras seemed to have cold feet.

The visitors’ efforts were rewarded within 12 minutes of play through Shadreck Malambo, who was unmarked in the box. The visitors had used their numerical strength to overpower the Zebras after defender Bogosi Kaekwe went out injured.

The Zebras technical side was indecisive and took time to introduce replacement although they were under mammoth pressure. The Zambians launched most of their attacks from mid-park and exposed the Zebras who had a hard time especially containing plucky winger Patrick Ngoma who kept switching sides looking for a match winner.

However, introduction of Onkabetse Makgantai in the second half saved the Zebras the day. Makgantai injected life into the Zebras search for an equaliser.

The Young Zebras started pushing forward in numbers and punched holes in the Zambian defence who now looked ordinary in the face of stiff opposition.

The complacent Zambian side somewhat did not expect the home side to come back that g. Unobatsha Mbaiwa scooped the ball into the back of the net after keeper Toaster Nsabata had parried it on harm’s way.

Although the Zebras evidently missed services of five key players who have since joined the senior national team at the COSAFA tournament in South Africa, particularly forward Omaatla Kebatho and Mpho Kgaswane, if judged by their recent game with the Young Harambee Stars of Kenya, the squad put everything behind them in the second half to put up a brave fight.

Young Zebras caretaker coach Davis Kopi conceded that his boys could not deal with the Zambians in the first half since most of them were still inexperienced.

However, he said he would visit Zambia in a fortnight’s time to unlock the opponents with an early goal.

On the other hand, Fighton Samukonda was not happy with the way the match officials handled the encounter. He said he was confident of a win back home.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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