Zebras, Mambas get Group G underway

Zebras, Mambas get Group G underway
Botswana players celebrates a victory during the 2019 Cosafa Cup match between South Africa and Botswana

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Nov 15, 2023. 13:00

Group G in Africa’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers will officially get underway when Botswana and Mozambique meet at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown on the afternoon of Thursday 16 November 2023.

Botswana, who have never qualified for the World Cup, come into this campaign off the disappointment of missing out on the next Africa Cup of Nations, though their most recent outing brought some cheer, as they secured a 2-1 win over Eswatini in an international friendly played in mid-October.

The Zebras have appointed Frenchman Didier Gomes da Rosa on a short-term contract. The 54-year-old has previously worked for the likes of Horoya AC, Simba SC and the Mauritania national team.

“I watched all the Zebras matches during AFCON qualifiers. I have a very good idea about which players can help us in the national team. I believe there is a lot of quality in the team,” said da Rosa.

Mozambique have also never qualified for the World Cup, though they will be making a return to the AFCON early next year (for the first time since 2010) after they finished second behind Senegal in a challenging group.

The Mambas were last in action in October, recording a 1-1 draw with Angola and 3-2 defeat to Nigeria in international friendlies.

In head-to-head stats, Botswana and Mozambique have met in 18 previous matches, dating back as far as 1978. The Mambas have claimed 12 wins compared to three for the Zebras, while three matches have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was in the 2015 edition of the Cosafa Cup, with Mozambique winning 2-1 in Moruleng in South Africa.

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