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Botswana have showed a marked improvement
in international competition over the last years, using Cosafa tournaments as
the basis of their preparation and progress.
It took almost a decade of competition
before the Zebras made a breakthrough, but the side reached the semifinals of
the Cosafa Castle Cup in 2006 and repeated the feat the next year.
Their achievement in 2006 came after they
beat South Africa on post-match penalties and the next year there was another
upset triumph, this time over World Cup finalists Angola.
It was in 2003 that Botswana finally ended
their search for the Holy Grail when their seven-year run without a win in
the Cosafa Castle Cup was broken. They had long been the only country of the
original entrants to the tournament never to win a game.
An early goal from Tshepiso Molwantwa in
their first round match away against Namibia in Windhoek finally broke the
Botswana also came close to qualification
to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2008, when they needed an away win in
Egypt in their last game to qualify, only to lose the match by a single goal.
They went one better in 2012 though,
reaching the continental showpiece event in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, but
exited in the first round.
Botswana was formerly the seat of the
Council of Southern Africa Football Associations but it has been handicapped
over the years by the countrys sparse population. Botswana remains one of
Africas richest and most political stable countries and is also where FIFA
have placed its development office for the region.