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Has Zebras regressed?

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TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

The Zebras appearance at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) seems to be the only reputable achievement that the local football fraternity will keep on priding with in soccer debates as it looks like the team is struggling to replicate that form.

It cannot be disputed that many people within the local football circles if not in Africa at large did not give Botswana any chance of qualifying for the 2012 AFCON edition in a qualification group that consisted of the local team Tunisia, Togo, Malawi and Chad. Being brave and ruthless, the Zebras however portrayed their wild part and made it to the competition with only two games to spare defying all odds in due process ultimately sending elation and joy to the nation.

Surely after making their maiden appearance at the 2012 AFCON, many thought the Zebras had finally found the form that would banish their dastardly place as the whipping boys of Africa to history.

But lo and behold, the recent years that followed saw them beat a hasty retreat to their cheerless reputation, prompting most to make the grim conclusion that the galloping of the wild horses may have been a fluke propelled by Providence.

Witness how, since making it to the 2012 AFCON, the Zebras have massively failed to impress in the tournament and did not manage to make it to the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa in 2013, 2015, and 2017 editions. The Zebras also failed to make it to this year’s Africa’s prestigious football tournament billed for Egypt from 21 June to 19 July this year to add to their past three editions failures and regain their whipping boys of Africa title with pride and dignity.

In a complete style of brawny failure, the Zebras exited their group with only one point in a qualifying group made of the locals, Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The point was grabbed against the Stallions of Burkina Faso. The 1-0 loss at the hands of Angola this past weekend means the men’s senior national have lost five encounters, scored one goal and conceded eight goals in six matches to finish as the bottom team in Group I.

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