Though Zebras' coach, Stanley Tshosane was happy with his charges' display in the 1-1 draw with visiting Iran, some fans left the UB Stadium in Gaborone shaking their heads after the national team blew hot and cold in the international friendly.
Though the Zebras played brilliantly in the first half, they fizzled out badly in the second stanza against a disappointing Iran. The Iranians started the match well and took the lead just after three minutes.
But there was nothing special about the former Asian champions after that. If anything, they were made to look ordinary by the local players who took the game by the scruff of the neck.
To underline their lackluster display in the first half, the Iranians managed only one shot on target in the first half, which resulted in a goal. Zebras' goalkeeper, Noah Maposa was a spectator for much of the first half.
Ball wizard Dirang Moloi, long punted as the missing link in midfield, was not at his usual best though he tried hard to make the Zebras click. Patrick Motsepe, returning to the national fold after a long time, started brightly but like the rest of the team, waned in the second half.
Defender Musa Ohilwe was brilliant on the overlap, but the final touch let him down as most of his crosses flew out of play. On the left, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu tried his best using the channel to deliver crosses, one of which resulted in the equalizer.
Ndiyapo Letsholathebe and Mompati Thuma were a calming influence at the back and hardly put a foot wrong. Ofentse Nato's star continued to shine after another impressive show. Long range passing is probably the gangly midfielder's main asset.
Moemedi 'Jomo' Moatlhaping seemed lost as he spent most of the time dusting himself from numerous falls.
Playmaker Pontso Moloi did not penetrate as expected but still caused anxious moments for the giant Iranians.
In one move, he used his trademark deft turn to leave his marker for dead, but instead of passing to a better-placed Dirang, he decided to go for glory, only managing to find the side netting.The bustling Mokgathi Mokgathi tried hard upfront but found it difficult to breach the imposing visitors' defense. He did well to score the equalizer. He was a constant threat in the first half, but he joined his teammates to dish out a below par performance in the second half.
Fans who were clamoring for Bonolo Fraser's inclusion got their wish in the second half but the youngster never changed the complexion of the game.
Dangerman Mogakolodi Ngele was thrown into the mix but hardly impressed as he felt the wrath of the physical Asians. Striker Malepa Bolelang was given only three minutes on the pitch, largely because he had played for ECCO City Greens in a league match 24 hours earlier.
Long-serving Notwane player, Mpoeleng Mpoeleng got a run but he too, found the match having degenerated into a dull affair. Joseph Phethogo, Ontse Ntesa and Raphael Nthwane were the three substitutes who were unused in a match to test the ability of local players.
Though Tshosane said he is impressed with the local players, he is probably undecided on his combination.