GABORONE, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Botswana national soccer team departed Thursday afternoon to Ethiopia for a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifying match.
Botswana would be looking to turn around their recent poor showing and salvage their fortunes in the qualifiers where they currently lay bottom of group A that also includes South Africa and Central Africa Republic (C.A.R.). The Zebras have already lost against C.A.R and managed a draw against South Africa, making the Ethiopia tie a must win for them.
Speaking to Xinhua before team's departure, Botswana coach Stanley Tshosane said they have prepared adequately and was confident his team will pull out a good result against Ethiopia.
Tshosane said unlike in the past matches where they did not have adequate preparations, he had a chance to assess all the players he initially called to camp before announcing the final 18 man squad for the Ethiopia tie.
"I had all my players in camp and even assesses them in a friendly match and I am sure the players I selected can do the job," he said.
Botswana played a friendly match against Malawi on Tuesday evening and won 1-0 courtesy of a goal by midfielder Jackie Mothatego. Tshosane will however enter the Ethiopia fray without South African based midfielders Mogogi Gabonamong of Supersport United and Mogakolodi Ngele of Platinum Stars who are nursing injuries.
The Zebras were however boosted by the arrival of Bloemfontein Celtic winger Joel Mogorosi, goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe and Ofentse Nato from Bidvest Wits in South Africa. The three played against Malawi with Dambe making several crucial saves that put Botswana in the game.
The pressure to pick up three points playing away and see the Zebras move up the group will be high but Tshosane sees it as an impossible task. He said Ethiopia couldn't be counted among the continent's powerhouses even though they made it to the last AFCON finals in South Africa.
He said he wants to see his team make a progress and qualify for the world cup for the very first time after making it to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). The match will be played at 4 p.m. on Sunday.