Joel Mogorosi was on the scoresheet once again as Botswana recorded a historic 2-1 victory over Mali on Saturday night.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) second-round first-leg was played at the Francistown Sports Complex in Francistown.
The Zebras began the match brightly as they looked to grab an early goal and they score twice in the first-half. The Eagles dominated the second-half and they managed to pull one back.
Mali goalkeeper Oumar Sissoko was called into action six minutes into the game and he easily gathered a shot from Zebras forward Mogakolodi Ngele.
Nevertheless, Tapiwa Gadibolae broke the deadlock in the 14th minute after heading home a cross from his Zebras teammate Kabelo Seakanyeng.
The home doubled their lead in the 24th minute through their in-form captain Joel Mogorosi, who netted his third goal of the qualifying campaign.
The Eagles forced two back-to-back corner-kicks. However, the Zebras managed to defend very well against the set-pieces.
In the 36th minute, Botswana were awarded a free-kick just outside the Mali box. However, Ngele failed to hit the target from the set-piece.
There was scramble inside the Zebras box five minutes before the break, but goalkeeper Dambe reacted quickly and collected the ball before Mali attackers could pounce.
The visitors were the better side in the opening stages of the second-half as they pressed the Zebras defence for their first goal of the game.
Mali striker Samba Sow was the man who pulled one back eleven minutes after the restart. The Eagles' pressure had finally paid off.
Both teams made changes in the 68th minute. Zebras striker Omaatla Kebatho came on for Mogorosi, while Eagles striker Cheick Diabate replaced Moussa Marega.
Two minutes later, Botswana goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe made a decent save from Sako's free-kick just outside the box.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Mali coach Alain Giresse made his final change. Sow was replaced by Birama Toure as the visitors looked to grab a late equaliser.
Nevertheless, the match ended 2-1 in favour of Botswana. The Zebras recorded their first ever victory over the Eagles of Mali in competitive games.
The return leg is scheduled to take place at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on Tuesday.
Botswana 2 (Gadibolae 14', Mogorosi 24')
Mali 1 (Sow 56')
Botswana XI: Dambe, Gadibolae (Tshireletso 75'), Sosome, Mafoko, Gaolalwe, Nato, Ditsele, Seakanyeng, Mogorosi (Kebatho 68'), Ngele, Moyo.
Mali XI: Sissoko (Diakite 46'), Sylla, Wague, Coulibaly, Tamboura, Sow (Toure 82'), Cisse, N'Diaye, Sako, Maiga, Marega (Diabate 68').