Botswana ladies are fired up ahead of the kick-off of their Olympic Qualifier game against Namibia. The first leg will be played this Friday in Gaborone.
According to the vice-captain of the host nation the girls are in good spirit and hoping a positive result. “We are happy in camp and ready for the fight,” said Nondi Mahlasela. She said they are alive to the fact that they never qualified for any big tournament, “we have been playing for years and have not produced good news. That’s something that is worrying to us as well. It serves as a motivation for us to do better.”
The striker believes that the twelfth man will be crucial for them in getting results. “There is nothing that brings joy like people coming in good numbers to support you at a game.”
The sentiments that the assistant coach of Botswana team Alex Malete agrees with. “We play home the first leg and it will be crucial for us to have advantage of the twelfth player. It will be easier for us to win the match if fans come in big numbers and cheer us on until the final whistle,” said Malete.
On the approach of the game he has promised a high tempo game as he believes that’s their greatest strength. “We are going to play according to our strength. I believe we have good pace and technical ability. We are going to play high tempo game.”
The Namibia Coach Brian Isaacs is happy with their preparations so far. “We have started about a month and a half with our preparations for this game. The preparations went well, so we are looking forward to the game,” coach said.
The coach said the fact that their male counterparts qualified for 2019 AFCON last month will not put them under pressure to do well. “We can’t compare with the male counterparts, unfortunately they don’t see us as equals. The brave warriors get the priority. The only thing I want as a coach is for the team to perform in order to raise our voice in order to make us known so we get the same treatment as our male counterparts.”
The return leg will be played next week in Namibia and the overall winner will play South Africa in the next stage of Olympic qualifiers.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)