WINDHOEK – Brave Warriors assistant coach, Collin Benjamin, heaped massive praise on Namibia’s courageous performance in their 2-1 loss to Malawi late yesterday during their 2019 Cosafa Cup Group B decider, but admitted that lack of experience had a hand in their defeat.
In yesterday’s post-match interview, Benjamin - a former Brave Warriors and German giants Hamburger SV defensive midfielder back in the day – said the defeat to Malawi was more of a learning curve for the team, especially for the young and inexperienced players in the squad.
“Inexperience cost us today. We struggled to keep the ball and whenever we had the ball we lost it very easily and that goes to show you that we lacked a bit of experience in certain areas. We scored but could not manage to maintain our advantage and Malawi came through and got a penalty that won the match. Also, if you look at how we conceded that penalty, again you can see it was lack of experience and partly lack of communication between our goalkeeper and the defender,” said Benjamin.
“But we remain confident and hopeful as we still have a chance to finish the tournament on a high note. The defeat was a massive learning curve for the boys and now we are faced with Seychelles on Thursday and they are a defensively strong team, so that is our focus going ahead. But I’m proud of my boys and how they showed character and fighting spirit today,” added the optimistic Namibian gaffer.
Defender Charles Hambira scored Namibia’s only goal in the 16th minute, while Gabadinho Mhango and Gerald Phiri Jnr Mhango were on target for Malawi.
Namibia will now face Seychelles tomorrow for their final group match. Earlier in the day, Seychelles held Mozambique to a goalless draw.
Benjamin is spearheading the Namibian side participating at this year’s 19th edition of the regional football showpiece. This, after he was tasked with overseeing the team’s participation in Durban while head coach Ricardo Mannetti attends to Namibia’s preparations for this year’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held in Egypt next month. On Sunday, in their opening match of the tournament, Namibia defeated the Mambas of Mozambique 2-1 through goals by Joslin Kamatuka and Absalom Iimbondi, who was also voted Man of the Match.