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Zebras secure Equatorial Guinea friendly

The Zebras will play 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosts Equatorial Guinea on October 12 in a friendly international in Gaborone.

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 The match will be played 10 days before the Zebras visit reigning African champions, Egypt, in Cairo for another preparatory tie for the AFCON 2012 qualifiers.

For the Equatorial Guinea match, the Zebras will be without coach Stanley Tshosane who will be in Egypt for a workshop. Botswana Football Association (BFA) technical director, Sonnyboy Sethibe, said he will be travelling to Cairo, together with Tshosane on October 11 for the workshop. They return on October 16. The Cairo workshop is meant to review this year’s AFCON, hosted by Angola and the World Cup, which was held in Africa for the first time in June/July. Although he will be absent for the Equatorial Guinea tie, Tshosane has reportedly sought the release of South African-based Zebras’ players.

SuperSport United’s Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane, Orlando Pirates’ Phenyo Mongala, and the Santos’ trio of Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Boitumelo Mafoko and Mogogi Gabonamong are likely to be released by their clubs for both games as October 12 falls under FIFA’s international calendar.

“I noticed that the South Africa-based players will not be active on 12 October so we will try to ask their clubs to release them for the game,” Tshosane said. Initially, BFA courted Ghana for a friendly game but failed. They then turned to Equatorial Guinea, who are ranked 102 in the world. Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea remain largely unknown in football circles but should give the Zebras much needed practice. Tshosane has made it clear he needs two strong opponents before leading his charges against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the AFCON qualifiers on November 17.

The Tunisians will be out for revenge after they were shocked 1-0 by the Zebras in the opening fixture in Tunis.The Zebras passed the first round of the AFCON qualifiers with flying colours after winning three matches and picking up one draw.

They sit at the summit of Group K, with 10 points, six clear of Tunisia.

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