Eritrea out to shock Botswana
Red Sea boys hosting their coach in the air in celebration, 2011
Eritrea will look to grab a crucial victory over Botswana in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) first round first-leg at the Cicero Stadium in Asmara on Saturday.
Kick-off us at 16h00.
The Red Sea Boys have been boosted by the World's football governing body FIFA's decision to approve Henk Goitom's request to play for the Eastern African country.
The 31-year-old experienced centre forward was born in Sweden, and he only represented the European country at under-21 level between 2005, and 2006.
The Cicero Stadium pitch is reportedly in a bad condition. However, the Eritrean National Football Federation (ENFF) believe that the pitch is playable.
The Red Sea Boys may use this to their advantage against Botswana on the artificial turf, who may struggle play their normal brand of passing football.
Meanwhile, Botswana are coming into the World Cup qualifier oozing with confidence following their 1-0 victory over Burkina in a 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group D clash early last month.
The Zebras vice-captain and Atletico de Kolkata midfielder Ofentse Nato landed in Eritrea's captain city, Asmara on Friday where the match will take place on Saturday afternoon.
Peter Butler's side will have to do without their key striker Omaatla Kebatho, who recently came back from an injury he sustained against Burkina Faso.
However, the 22-year-old bulky forward, who joined South African side Vasco Da Gama in July, is expected to feature in the second-leg clash in Francistown next week Tuesday evening.
In their last away competitive fixture, Botswana were brushed aside 2-0 by Uganda in the 2017 Afcon Group D opening encounter in June.
A victory over Eritrea on Saturday afternoon will definitely put Botswana in a good position to win the first round tie.
Experienced Egyptian referee Ibrahim Nour El Din will be in charge of the encounter on match day.
The return leg will be played at the new Francistown Stadium in Francistown on Tuesday night.
The winner on aggregate will take on Mali in the second round of the World Cup qualification.
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