Botswana to play Lesotho, Mozambique in friendly football matches

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Gabarone (Botswana), March 25 (IANS) Botswana has lined up two friendly matches for this week FIFA international break, the country’s football association has announced.

The team will play Lesotho on Wednesday before hosting Mozambique on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

The matches come after a long layoff without any action for the team after it failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) last year. Botswana finished last in their qualification group following a string of poor results under new coach Peter Butler.

Lesotho is already in Botswana preparing for the Wednesday evening clash at the National Stadium here.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Butler said the two games will assist him assess his squad ahead of crucial regional competitions coming later in the year as well as allow him to try out new combinations with the players he has called to the team.

Butler has called a squad made up of mostly local based players with a good number of youngsters getting their first call ups to the team. He said it was important to give young players who excel in the local league an opportunity to play for the country and compete at the international level.

Butler said he expects a tough match against Lesotho as they have been improving steadily in recent times. He said they want to win the match to build up the team’s confidence going into the future.

The Briton has come under a lot of criticism lately after taking the team to the group stages of the AFCON qualifiers. The team failed to win a single match in the qualifiers, scoring only one goal.

He has maintained that he was building a team for the future and that his target was to qualify for the group stages.

Botswana’s next competitive fixture will be against neighbours and rivals South Africa in the quarter finals of the Confederations of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) in July 2015.

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