• July 23rd, 2019
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Gutsy Warriors go down fighting… Crucial away goal a glimmer of hope

Sport, Sports
Sport, Sports

Carlos Kambaekwa Windhoek-A well dispatched second half spot-kick by Ballack Somaeb handed the Namibian senior football team, the Brave Warriors, a morale-booster ahead of their decisive final leg of the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cup Qualifier against hosts Comoros yesterday. Despite losing 2-1 against the host nation in an action-packed match at Stade de Moroni, the leg-weary Namibians put up a gallant performance after falling two goals behind going into the halftime break. The match started at a fast pace, with the hosts asking serious questions of the Namibian defense. Comoros handsomely were rewarded for their efforts by taking a healthy two-goal cushion going into changeover (2-0). Comoros netted their goals through Chadouli Mradabi and Mohamed Youssef, but Bucksy Mannetti’s rusty soldiers dusted themselves off magnificently after a through tongue-lashing by the technical staff during the interval. The boys were fired up at the resumption and started to make more frequent forays to the opposition’s danger zone – only to be thwarted by resolute defending by the home side. Nonetheless, the visitors’ perseverance finally paid off when enterprising midfielder Dynamo Fredericks was tumbled in the penalty area, leaving the referee with no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Veteran striker Soameb stepped up and made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick to narrow the deficit by one goal (2-1) with 13 minutes gone into the second half. The goal gave a confidence-boost to the visitors, with Somaeb going close to complete his brace in the dying minutes of the match, but the goalframe came to the home team’s rescue. The decisive return leg will be staged at Sam Nujoma Stadium this coming Sunday. Despite the defeat, coach Mannetti expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the team responded after going two goals down in the opening half. “We changed things and tactics in the second half and it paid off, as the boys responded well and now have to finish the job on the return leg in Windhoek. “I would urge our fans back home not to start pressing the panic buttons, because I remain confident that we can make the victory sweet playing in front of our home crowd,” Mannetti said after yesterday’s match. The Warriors’ inspirational skipper, Stigga Ketjijere, was also optimistic about Namibia’s chances in the vital 2nd leg encounter. “We need to convert our chances at home. We conceded silly goals today as a result of defensive errors, yet I still think we could have fashioned a draw, however that’s the game of football, but we keep our heads up.” Warriors’ wily coach Mannetti also made an adjustment to the team that started against Zimbabwe, installing Civics’ agile shot-stopper Edward ‘Ted’ Maova, in the place of African Stars’ injured goalie, Loydt Kazapua. Brave Warriors starting lineup: Edward ‘Ted’ Maova, Larry Horaeb, Tebs ‘Ace Kanono’ Lombard, Mashaba Karongee, Riaan //Hanamub, Dynamo Fredericks, Stigga Ketjijere (capt) Benjamin Nekavu, Petrus ‘Dancing Shoes’ Shitembi, Ballack Somaeb, Itamunua Keimuine. – Additional info: NFA.org
New Era Reporter
2017-08-14 12:37:54 1 years ago

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