Botswana has been knocked out of the 2017 Women’s World Cup after suffering an embarrassing 9-1 aggregate loss against South Africa in the qualifiers.
The team produced a spirited performance even though it lost 1-0 in the second leg in Molepolole on Friday (July 24).
However, an irreparable damage was already done in Johannesburg two weeks ago when South Africa thrashed them 8-1 in the first leg.
The girls matched their opponents in terms of possession of the ball, but were too slow when attacking which rarely posed any threat to the South African defence.
Instead, it was the visitors who were more potent in attack.
South Africa midfielder, Thami Sikweza had a good attempt well saved by goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja in the 22nd-minute.
Linda Motlhalo and Tiisetso Makhubela both had good opportunities to give South Africa the lead after Botswana committed defensive blunders in the first half, but they dispatched their efforts wide.
South Africa took the lead four minutes into the second half after a quick attack which resulted with Anelisa Ndyebi finding Sikweza unmarked inside the penalty area, and the midfielder fired home.
Coach Sepheko Motlhagodi introduced striker, Banyana Thekiso and Segolame Kampedi in place of Keneilwe Lentswe and Kesego Matlhatsa.
Botswana showed more urgency in the closing stages with team captain, Kefilwe Tholekele combining with Masego Koboto to force a good save from goalkeeper, Mapaseka Mpuru.
Tholekele’s powerful long range shot narrowly missed the target in the final minute with Mpuru well beaten.
Despite the crushing defeat, Motlhagodi said the team had made good progress.
“This team is making good progress and we played more organised football today. I was quite happy with the performance,” he said.
He put the 8-1 defeat in South Africa down to lack of preparation.
“Our next tournament will be in Angola in December, we have to start preparations now. We have to give the team more match practice before competitions,” he said.
Source : BOPA