Wafcon 2022: Botswana take inspiration from Mandela ahead of Nigeria contest

Kesegofetse Mochawe of Botswana during the 2022 Womens Africa Cup of Nations.BackpagePix.

Botswana have sent a strong warning to Nigeria that it is possible for them to progress as they face off in the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.

While Nigeria suffered a 2-1 defeat in their Group C opener against rivals South Africa, the Mares kicked off their campaign with a 4-2 victory against Burundi on Monday.

Ahead of their clash with the African champions, Botswana Football Association President MacLean Letshwiti believes they have what it takes to succeed.

“Let me congratulate the Mares for putting an excellent shift at work, defeating Burundi by a convincing 4-2 score line at the ongoing Wafcon tournament here in Morocco,” Letshwiti told the Botswana FA website.

“The ladies’ thrilling performances demonstrated beyond doubt that together we can achieve. I therefore humbly urge the ladies to continue to show their mettle against the best in Africa.

“Further, I wish to also thank the people of Botswana back home for their good wishes and their patriotic spirit, rallying behind this exciting team. We are more than excited about your collective support.

“Let’s rally more and more behind the Mares, especially in the second match which is a critical encounter in the tournament with its associated pressure and international focus now squarely on the Mares.

“Nelson Mandela once said; “it is impossible until it is done.” Let’s go out once more and do it again. It’s possible!”?

Against Burundi, Botswana took control of the game from the onset and took a deserved lead courtesy of Keitumetse Dithebe in the 43rd minute for a 1-0 lead at the half-time break.

On resumption, the Mares doubled their lead in the 47th minute through Lesego Radiakanyo before Refilwe Tholakele sealed the emphatic victory with a double. Burundi’s goal came via

Sandrine Niyonkuru, who notched a brace.

Meanwhile, Nigeria struggled against Banyana Banyana and lost to two second-half goals through Jermaine Seoposenwe and Hildah Magaia. Nigeria against Botswana will be staged at Moulay Hassan FUS before they wind up their group stage matches against Burundi on Sunday.

Letshwiti: Botswana can progress

Do you back the Mares to defeat the Super Falcons in their Wafcon contest?