The senior Women’s National Football team coach Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang believes that her team has what it takes to redeem themselves when they face Zambia on the second leg tie of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. The local ladies went down 1-0 during the first leg encounter which was held in Zambia on Wednesday however Nkutlwisang believes the team remains resolute and focused despite the setback. The Mares as the team is popularly known takes on the Copper Queens on Tuesday at the Francistown Sports Complex to seal on which team will progress to the fourth round of the qualifiers.
The team arrived from Zambia on Thursday where they will head straight to Francistown to prepare for the game which proves to be very crucial for Nkutlwisang and her girls. Though the team has proved to be strong and competitive they have a mammoth task to overcome a very strong Zambia side- however good Francistown crowd which never disappoint and home ground advantage can only be Botswana’s key and hope in battering the Zambians.
Despite this, Zambia as a better record against Botswana as evidenced by this year’s statistics in various competitions. In all the COSAFA Cup matches this year Zambia has won all the matches across Under 17 and Under 20 categories and the recent loss of the senior team at Nkholoma Stadium have added to the list which means the Copper Queens have an upper hand. Nonetheless coach Nkutlwisang believes her girls can cause an upset for Zambia in the home soil.
“During the game we tried to absorb much of pressure in the first 15 minutes because they were really coming at us. But on the 21st minutes they scored because we were not organized in the middle field because we gave away possession easily. But in the second half we came back better and chances but we were too late to join the attacking zone. So I can just say the girls played but not to their level best. Zambia is a strong team but we are home so with support ,home ground advantage and making up our mistakes we can score some goals and proceed to the next round,” said Nkutlwisang. Last month the local ladies put up a spirited performance against Banyana-Banyana both home and away therefore most pundits are of the believe that the team can upset Zambia and match all the way to the next round. Therefore it remains to be seen if The Mares can down another giant in Zambia as they did with South Africa.