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Botswana U-23 Olympic team bows out to Egypt U-23
Botswana U-23 football team beat visiting Egypt 2-1 in the second leg of the 2012 Olympic qualifier but it was not enough to stop the Young Pharaohs progressing to the second round. The Young Zebras lost the first leg by a 2-0 score-line in Egypt a fortnight ago and succumbed to a 3-2 aggregate defeat.
The Young Zebras showed their determination to wipe away the deficit from the first whistle with some attacking football. The home side featured some of their key players who missed the first leg match in Cairo and the difference was clear as Botswana dominated the early exchanges with Hani Ramzi’s Egyptian side contend with more defensive work. The early goal almost came for the Young Zebras when the fast paced winger Kgololo Leteane went through and let go a stinging shot which goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal could only punch back into play to striker Phenyo Molefe who failed to convert the rebound. Botswana continued to control the match and produce chances but their finishing was letting them down and having weathered the storm the Egyptians grew in confidence as the match progressed and created some good chances but they too could not make them count. In the 41st minute as half time beckoned, Young Zebras finally converted one of numerous chances to score the opener when Bakang Moeng headed home from a corner kick.
Buoyed by the first goal Botswana started the second half just as hot and had the Young Pharaohs defense on the back foot and working overtime to stay in the match. Goal scorer Bakang Moeng was a constant threat and his industriousness was soon rewarded when he notched his and the team’s second goal in the 61st minute. Moeng brought the roof down and sent the home crowd into raptures when he executed a perfect overhead kick that flew past Abou Gabal to leave the aggregate score tied at 2-2. The opened up as the Young Zebras went in search of the winner while the Egyptians came out looking for a goal to take them through. It was the visitors though who got the next goal as Young Pharaohs striker Marawan Mohsen rose above highest inside the box to head home a vital goal from a throw in the 75th minute. The Egyptians could have equalized but Shehab Ahmed’s thunderbolt was inches away from the keeper’s right post during a period the Young Pharaohs dominated. In the end the Egyptians held on to a 3-2 aggregate win while the Young Zebras were left ruing missed chances. Egyptian coach was a relived man and summed up the match by saying “ Today ‘s game was a tough lesson for my players . They should learn not to waste so many clear-cut chances which could prove costly”
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
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