The visitors Namibia didn't show any respect to their hosts as they kept the Botswana goal keeper busy in the first half. Within the first five minutes, they had won two corners to put forward their statement of intent. Namibia left-back Megameno Petrus showed some brilliance with free kicks that gave Lesang Senne a headache in between the sticks in the first half.
In the second half, Botswana resumed a different side and forced the Young Warriors to go defensive. The best chance of the game came in the 60th minute when Bakang Leshona was left with the empty net after the Namibian shot stopper Tjimune, fumbled but he could only hit the upright.
Hundreds of supporters that came to support Botswana started upping their game on the stands in the second half and that played to the advantage of the hosts. They had a lot of chances with another good opportunity coming in the 80th minute where Tjimune produced a brilliant save with his feet to stop Resaobaka Thatanyane's at the near post.
Five minutes later he was at it again when he produced a finger-tip save after Benson Leshona fired a beautiful free kick. Botswana kept probing until the last minute but Namibia held on to a draw.
It was Botswana coach Dragojlo Stanojlovic's first official match in charge since being appointed last January. He is also the Technical Director of Township Rollers Football Club who made it into the CAF Champions League group stages this March, a first for a Botswana team.
Dragojlo Stanojlovic (Head Coach, Botswana)
I am happy with the supporters who came in good numbers to support the team but I am not happy with the result. At least we should have scored a goal or two. Namibia is a very strong team and very good tactically. Now we will have to win in Namibia.
Gerald Guther (Head Coach, Namibia)
It was a tough game. We held our own against a team that had one particular plan to try ‘bully’ us and play long balls using their big boys. Our game plan worked very well. We should have scored one or two chances. We will prepare ourselves well for the second leg in two weeks.
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Mauritania 2-0 Morocco
Algeria 3-1 Tunisia
Uganda 5-1 South Sudan
Tanzania 0-0 DR Congo
Seychelles 0-0 Mozambique
Malawi 0-0 Swaziland
Botswana 0-0 Namibia
Sunday, 1 April 2018
Gabon vs Togo
Kenya vs Rwanda
Ethiopia vs Burundi
Guinea Bissau vs Sierra Leone
*Liberia vs Benin
*Liberia withdrew, Benin qualified to second round