Gaborone (Botswana), May 27 (IANS) Botswana's national football team, the Zebras, assembled in a camp to prepare for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier matches against Ethiopia and Central Africa Republic (CAR) in June.
Botswana will have a hectic schedule of playing two matches within a week as they host Ethiopia June 8 before welcoming CAR June 15 as they try to revive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup for the very first time, reports Xinhua.
Coach Stanley Tshosane said Sunday that all hopes were not lost for his side and the upcoming two games would be a tough mental and physical test for his players. He said the squad has some necessary experience to handle playing two important matches in a short period.
"We are still in with some chances to qualify, if we win these two games then the group becomes open again," Tshosane said Sunday.
Botswana currently lies bottom of Group A in the first round of the qualifiers with a single point from three games. The group also includes South Africa, whom they played for a 1-1 draw.
Tshosane has named a strong 26-man squad to try and increase his pool for the two home fixtures he described as crucial. The squad called to camp includes five South Africa based players and one player based in Namibia.
Winger Joel Mogorosi of Bloemfontein Celtic, Platinum Stars duo of goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe and striker Mogakolodi Ngele as well as Supersport United midfielder Mogogi Gabonamong and Bidvest Wits midfielder Ofentse Nato all made it to the squad. The five have been involved for their sides in the South African Premier League then came to an end last week.
The rest of the squad is made up of locally based players who have also been involved in the domestic league.