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Bosija spoils Banyana Banyana party.

A woman of the match performance by goalkeeper, Sedilame Bosija, saw the senior women national team defy all odds to beat South Africa 3-2 in an Olympic qualifier game played at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.

Banyana Banyana, who have just returned from the World Cup, were aiming to make their third appearance at the Olympics next year.

Bosija, who was in her element, thwarted many scoring opportunities for South Africa and saved two penalties in the shoot-out before scoring one to hand Botswana a rare victory against Banyana Banyana.

South Africa dominated possession and piled pressure, but Bosija and her defenders remained calm and defended bravely until half-time.

After recess, South Africa continued to pile more pressure, but the local girls were also determined to keep them at bay with Bosija instilling confidence with her goalkeeping antics.

In fairness, both teams had their chances during the 120 minutes of football, but Bosija nullified many scoring chances and was declared woman of the match.

Most of Botswana's attempts went wide, but they continued to surge forward looking for a goal.

The game went into extra time and the local girls resorted to playing defensive football, probably because they wanted the game to go to penalties,.

Botswana managed to convert their penalties through Lesego Radiakanyo, Lone Galefetoge and Bosija.

After the game, a disappointed Desiree Ellis said her team created many scoring chances which they failed to convert. 'Penalty shoot-outs are a lottery and they can go either way, but at the end of it all Botswana came with a strategy. We could have finished the game in the first half, but we didn't take our chances,' she said.

Botswana's assistant coach, Alex Malate said they played a tough match against good opposition, adding that Banyana Banyana had quality across the board.

He said they had to wait for 120 minutes to decide the winner.

Malate said before playing Banyana, they did a thorough analysis by watching their previous games. 'Even when we went to penalties, we knew which player is going to shoot to our goalkeepers right or left, and we knew that if we convert our penalties, our goalkeeper will save us,' he said.

He also noted that unlike in South Africa, there was no competitive league for women footballers in the country. He said it was time the football association took care of women football. 'If we had structures, we could do better,' he said.

Malete, however, thanked Botswana Football Association for sending the team on a two-week training camp in Slovakia. Botswana will play against Zambia in the third round of qualifiers.

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Publication:Botswana Daily News (Gaborone, Botswana)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Sep 4, 2019
Words:502
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