Botswana names 25 players to face Mali in Nations Cup

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Botswana names 25 players to face Mali in Nations Cup

GABORONE, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Head coach of the Botswana national soccer team Stanley Tshosane on Thursday named a 25- member squad that will face Mali in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations ( AFCON) third round, second-leg qualifier on October 13.

In a statement, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) said the history making coach has maintained the team that proved critics wrong by defeating big teams during their qualifying games for the 2012 AFCON co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon early this year.

Botswana defied the odds and beat football giants like Togo, Tunisia, Chad and Malawi to make their first ever appearance at the Africa's showpiece.

Tshosane has recalled talented Dirang Moloi who missed the Africa Cup after failing to honor the national team call-up.

BFA spokesperson Phakamile Kraai said in the statement that the soccer governing body is aware of the significance of the game and will do everything possible to assemble a strong squad.

"We are aware fully aware of the significance of this fixture. Our stated policy on preparing The Zebras (as the Botswana national soccer team is affectionately known) for competition matches is clear and has been very successful over the years," he said.

Mali have completed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Botswana in the first leg of the qualifiers at home in Bamako early last month.

The Maliens, who finished third at the 2012 AFCON finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, will certainly expect to complete the job in the return fixture in Gaborone next week.

Following is the squad:

Goalkeepers: Noah Maposa, Mompoloki Sephekolo, Michael Pepukani

Defenders: Mompati Thuma, Thabiso Khunwane, Tshepo Maikano, Michael Mogaladi, Keabetswe Jenamiso, Ndiyapo Letsholathebe, Edwin Olerile, Obuile Ncenga

Midfielders: Patrick Motsepe, Lemponye Tshireletso, Galabgwe Moyana, Lovemore Morirwa, Jackie Mothathego, Alphanso Modisaotsile, Richard Legwaila, Ntesang Simanyana, Boitumelo Mafoko, Phenyo Mongala, Dirang Moloi

Strikers: Tebogo Sembowa, Mokgathi Mokgathi, Kekaetswe Moloi. Enditem

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