Zimbabwe look to avoid upset against Botswana

Zimbabwe look to avoid upset against Botswana
Godiraone Modingwane of Botswana challenged by John Banda of Malawi

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Jun 03, 2018. 09:18

Zimbabwe will lock horns with Botswana in the 2018 COSAFA Cup quarter-final match at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 17h30 CAT.

The Warriors had a first round bye and are only entering the tournament at the quarter-final stage where they have been drawn to face the winner of Group B, Botswana.

Zimbabwe, who are the defending champions, are looking to go all the way and clinch the trophy. They are the most decorated nation in the history of the tournament having won five titles since the inception of the competition in 1997.

Wellington Mpandare, the Warriors team manager, has revealed to the media that coach Sunday Chidzambwa has been paying closer attention to the Zebras despite following all the group games.

“Botswana have kept the same squad in place for a long time and we noticed that there are just one or two changes to the team that came to Harare and our coaches have been monitoring not only their matches but all the teams in Group B,” Mpandare said.

The Warriors will look to experienced attackers such as outgoing Mamelodi Sundowns forward Khama Billiat, AmaZulu FC winger Ovidy Karuru and SuperSport United centre forward Evans Rusike.

Meanwhile, the Zebras of Botswana eased into the quarter-final after dominating Group B - defeating Mauritius and Angola, and they drew with a stubborn Malawi side.

The Zebras have never won the COSAFA Cup, but they managed to reach the final of the regional tournament in 2016. They were defeated by South Africa in an entertaining final which was played in Namibia.

Botswana winger Kabelo Seakanyeng is expecting a difficult match against the defending champions, but the skillful attacker is eager help his nation upset the Warriors.

“I know it is not going to be easy but we will fight, I am going to double my efforts and continue to help their team and use the opportunity to market myself as it’s my dream to play outside Botswana,” Seakanyeng said.

Botswana’s dangermen are Gaborone United winger Seakanyeng and Orapa United forward Onkabetse Makgantai, who have scored twice, and thrice respectively for the Zebras in the group stage.

The last meeting between Zimbabwe and Botswana was on the 18th of April 2018. The Zebras emerged 1-0 winners over the Warriors in a Zimbabwe Independence Cup match in Harare.

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