About time for Warriors to step out of 7-match group stage hiatus… Classy ‘Zambezi Express’ has capacity to suffocate Tau
Our national senior football team, the Brave Warriors, face their sternest test of character when the Desert Boys lock horns with big brother South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a do-or-die clash group match of Afcon, underway in the Land of the Pharaohs later tonight.
There’s very little love lost between the two sister-nations who share dozens of similarities in almost every aspect of their livelihood, including currency, culture, biltong, boerewors, race, tribes, linguistics and trade.
Statistics show that matches between these two southern African countries have never failed to live up to expectations with the Rainbow Nation enjoying the upper hand over their more fancied opponents.
Yours truly remembers the pair of magical moments at Windhoek’s Independence stadium in 1998 and 1999 respectively when underdogs Namibia sent the then just dethroned reigning continental champions packing with their tails tucked firmly between their legs in the regional Cosafa Cup in front of an enthusiastic sold-out crowd.
It’s now a well-documented secret that the then Jomo Sono-coached Bafana Bafana got their revenge when the two nations renewed their rivalry in the Afcon Cup in Burkina Faso with a 4-1 thrashing.
Since then, Namibia and South Africa met twice in exhibition matches in Durban (1-1) and Windhoek (Nam (0-1) respectively. Subsequently, the two nations squared off four times in the regional Cosafa Cup that saw Namibia losing all ties including the Plate final in 2017.
Watching the Brave Warriors match the highly rated Moroccans pound for pound in almost every aspect of the game, yours truly is confident that our boys will rewrite the history books and continue their giant killing act against the highly trumped up Bafana Bafana in a match where not only pride is at stake but a potential qualifying decider lays in the offing.
Both teams go into tonight’s penultimate clash on the back of identical 1-0 defeats against continental powerhouses Morocco and Ivory Coast respectively and need to fashion a victory if they are to have any mathematical chance of advancing to the knockout stages of the continental showpiece.
We were extremely unfortunate to be pipped at the last minute through an unfortunate own goal when a draw would have been a true reflection of our boys’ commendable bravery and undying effort, but such is the cruelty of the beautiful game of football – we certainly deserved to get something out of that game.
Credit must go to the technical staff for the manner in which they put their game plan in motion – we managed to contain and neutralise the Atlas Lions for the better part of the match and with a little bit of luck could have manufactured a better result.
Our defence was well marshalled by the center back pairing of the ‘Zambezi Express’ Ryan Nyambe and Denzil Hoaseb, and the two wing backs Larry Horaeb and Riaan Hanamub did a fantastic job in keeping the marauding Moroccan strikers at bay with some solid defending, while auxiliary shot stopper Loydt Kazapua was doubtlessly Namibia’s best performer on the night.
We must also compliment the technical team for adopting a more cautious approach by not committing too many bodies upfront – such tactics could have been suicidal as the Moroccans would have punished us on the counter attack.
Modern football requires that you neutralise your opponents’ strengths before embarking on taking risks. The cool as a cucumber ‘Zambezi Express’ demonstrated once again that talent alone is not the prerequisite for great athletes – our players are still way short in the application of basic elements of the game.
Sadly, this nauseating scenario can be attributed to improper development structures and this is exactly what divorces Nyambe from the rest of the pack. All the best to the boys, the entire Namibian nation is behind you. I rest my case.
2019-06-28 10:50:20 2 months ago