Home Sport What you need to know Botswana at the Wafcon

What you need to know Botswana at the Wafcon

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Botswana began preparations domestically for the WAFCON finals, having a series of camps from April.

Lesego Radiakanyo of Botswana is challenged by Stumai Athuman of Tanzania during the 2021 COSAFA Womens Championship Group B game between Botswana and Tanzania at Madibaz Stadium in Gqeberha on 2 October 2021. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Cape Town – As the Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) began in Morocco over the weekend, let’s continue looking at the profiles of each team competing at the tournament.

Team profile: Botswana

Nickname: The Mares

FIFA Ranking: 154

How they qualified for WAFCON:

The Mare’s brushed aside COSAFA rivals Angola 7-1 on aggregate in the first round before clinching their maiden qualification on away goals rule after a 3-3 aggregate score against Zimbabwe.

WAFCON preparations:

Botswana began preparations domestically for the WAFCON finals, having a series of camps from April. The 2020 COSAFA finalists are relying mostly on domestic players, especially from Double Action to excel at the continent showpiece.

Coach: Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang

The former Double Action captain has long been supervising the remodelling of the Mares and validated her credentials with the team’s historic qualification to the WAFCON finals, where she will hope to make another mark.

Key players

Lesego Radiakanyo

The Double Action midfielder played a crucial role in the team’s qualification campaign, scoring four goals in four matches. The 22-year-old is clearly one to keep an eye out for when the Mares take to the continent in July.

Thuto Ramafifi

The 30-year-old, fondly called Queen of Goals, scored the winner at home when the Mares pipped Angola 2-0. The former Double Action and New Endeavours striker, who is on a scholarship in the US, will be poised to bring her exposure and experience to bear at the WAFCON finals.

Refilwe Tholakele

The Mares striker has consistently provided good leadership for almost a decade and is a huge bargain in the attack. The 26-year-old, also made her mark during the qualifiers, scoring three goals in four matches, and her presence will be an asset for Botswana in Morocco.

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