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Don't celebrate yet, Botswana warn SA

By unknown | Apr 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Botswana Under-23s have warned their South African counterparts not to fool themselves by starting to celebrate, thinking that they have qualified for the All Africa Games.

This comes after South Africa defeated Botswana 2-0 during the first leg of their second round match in Potchefstroom on Sunday night.

Erwin Isaacs and Lebohang Mokoena scored the two goals. It was the rejuvenated Botswana's first defeat in four official games.

Phillemon Makwengwe, Botswana Football Association technical official, said: "The South Africans were just too quick for us. The other advantage is that Steve Komphela [SA coach] and Barney Kujane [team project director] came to Botswana in February to watch us play.

"They were there when we played against Angola and Tunisia during the qualifiers of the All Africa Games and Beijing Olympics.

"The problem with us is that we only saw your Under-23s against Uganda two weeks ago, but we are not about to throw in the towel yet.

"It's too early for South Africa to start celebrating. We are going to regroup for the return match and will be at full strength.

"We had three key players - Moreetsi Mosimanyana, Gabriel Bokhutlo and Jerome Ramakgakwane - out on suspension and injuries.

"The plan in the return match is to go for two early goals. We will fight even if it means forcing the game into extra-time or penalties," said Makwengwe.

Ramakgakwane is also doing duty for the senior team.

The winner of the two-legged qualifier will qualify for the finals in Algiers, Algeria, in July. While South Africa won bronze in 1999, Botswana are still to qualify.

South Africa and Botswana have also qualified for the group stages of the Beijing Olympics.

Komphela could not be reached for comment, but Kujane said: "It was a tough match, we played well and deserved to win."


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