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‘We will attack!’
‘We will attack!’
PROMISING FIRE: Mpote

Sports

‘We will attack!’

  • Mpote promises fire in Francistown

Zebras coach, Teenage Mpote has promised supporters an attacking game on Sunday when the national team come up against one of the powerhouses of African football, Tunisia.

Fresh from a 1-0 defeat in Libya on Wednesday, the Zebras will be looking to take advantage of Ghetto’s grass as they host the Carthage Eagles at the 27, 000-seater Obed Itani Chilume stadium in front of what is expected to be a packed, raucous Francistown crowd.

‘We will attack!’

OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM

Speaking to Voice Sport after the narrow loss in North Africa, an upbeat Mpote revealed that despite the result, morale in the camp was high after a decent performance in their opening AFCON 2023 qualifier.

“The boys are happy, you can tell someone has been making them to play the type of football that they don’t know. They are happy to be finally playing well,” maintained Mpote, describing Sunday’s clash with the Tunisians, who contain Manchester United starlet, Hannibal Mejbri in their midfield, as a must win game.

‘We will attack!’

STAR ATTRACTION: Hannibal Mejbri

“We are trying to instil the spirit of fighting and have our own identity and one will be to attack, especially when playing home,” promised the Orapa United tactician.
Reflecting on the Libyan loss, which played out on the astro turf of the compact 10, 550-capacity Martyrs of Benina stadium, Mpote said their game plan worked perfectly in the first half.

Indeed, other than a Mothusi Cooper bullet from the edge of the area that flew just over, the opening 45 minutes saw very little goal mouth action for either side.

That all changed 10 minutes after the restart, when the referee harshly penalized Thato Kebue for a coming together with Libya’s left winger and pointed to the spot.

Diving full length to his left, Goitseone Phoko saved the penalty in spectacular style. However, the Libyans reacted fastest to the rebound, a scuffed shot beating Phoko when he probably should have done better.

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Furious at the awarding of the pen, the Zebras eventually ended the game with four yellow cards. They resorted to long balls for much of the final half-an-hour as they looked to avoid any unnecessary contact and deny the man-in-the middle an excuse to add them to his book.

‘We will attack!’

TOGETHER: Zebras are united and up for the fight

“Some decisions were dubious because the referee took long to act despite having been close to the incident, this sent doubts on whether he was free. Sometimes when officiating in countries like Libya referees fear something,” said Mpote, who urged supporters to come in large numbers and rally behind the team.

Meanwhile, Tunisia take on Group J’s other occupant, Equatorial Guinea on Thursday before they head to Francistown.

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