A scintillating victory in front of their 12th player was enough to send the Botswana women national team dubbed The Mares to the second consecutive Women Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday afternoon after eliminating rivals Kenya in a match played at the National Stadium in Gaborone.
A solitary goal in the second half by forward Keitumetse Dithebe was enough to make an aggregate score of 2-1 in favour of the home team. The two teams have intially drew 1 all draw in Nairobi, Kenya a week ago. Historically, Dithebe is the first Motswana woman to score at WAFCON and also became a starlet as she scored a goal to send her team to WAFCON.
Speaking after the match, The Mares interim coach Alex Malete said the are not surprised with their qualification, pointing to the abilities of his team and better preparation of a winner takes all encounter.
“We adopted to the demands of the game. Kenya have quality players plying their trade in Europe and Tanzania respectively. However we had a strategy to dismantle them. Together with the technical team and players we planned accordingly”, said Malete.
Meanwhile , the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies star and Botswana captain, Sedilame Bosija who saved two crucial penalties in two legged encounters said for them to compete with the best in Africa, they need to prepare rigorously.
“They say the best way to compete is to prepare well. For now I am happy with the qualification. The girls played their hearts out”, she said briefly.
Furthermore, the president of Botswana HE Mokgweetsi Masisi has congratulated the squad. Masisi has also promised that the government will further their support to make the Mares winners of the coveted cup.
” I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the “The Mares”, Botswana’s exceptional Women’s National Football Team, for their remarkable victory against the formidable “Harambee Starlets”, Kenya Women’s National Football Team. Your triumph not only showcases your prowess on the field but also secures Botswana’s place in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) 2024. Your hardwork, determination and passion have brought pride to our nation, and we are immensely proud to celebrate this achievement with you.
Well done, and may your journey to WAFCON 2024 be filled with continued success and glory. Your hardwork and perseverance have paid off.Your country is solidly behind you,we shall bring the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations home.