WINDHOEK - The Young Gladiators coach, Mamie Kasaona, has squarely blamed the 7-0 demolishing to Botswana in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifiers first leg on a lack of preparation.
The Young Gladiators were mauled on Sunday at the Sam Nujoma stadium and are hoping to make history by staging an epic comeback in Gaborone for the return leg in two weeks time. According to Kasoana, the short period to prepare for the encounter was a major contributing factor that led to the 7-0 drubbing. The former Brave Gladiators star said her charges only camped for six days before the actual match, adding this was not sufficient to prepare well for an encounter of this magnitude. “Having given only six days of training, you can see the fitness, results and everything – it is suicidal. If we can get abundant time to prepare, I believe the results could have been better than this,” she said.
“The moment we reached their defence, you could see the girls were there but the finishing was poor, which means we had less preparation and which everybody could see. Next time, we can get more time to prepare; I think the result can also be convenient.” Despite the poor showing, the former Tura Magic defender also pointed out few positives she picked from the match, including the good exposure of her charges. “It is a World Cup qualifier – obviously, we want players to play a competitive game against other opponents, and to also gain exposure and experience; hence, I had ten to 12 U/17 players, whom I really think were up for the game,” added Kasaona. The return leg is scheduled for 31 January in Gaborone in two weeks. She said her charges would be going all out in Botswana, with the hope of restoring some lost pride.
“We have two weeks of preparations, which I think is enough for this game. So, going into the return leg, we will make sure the score is different. We are actually looking forward to it because we will have more time to prepare,” she said. Meanwhile, Botswana coach Jacqualine Gaobinelwe said coming into the Sunday match, they knew what to expect from the Namibia team, as she had already played against the national senior women’s team. “I actually knew what we were up against before the encounter. I remember I played with the Namibian team – with the very same team that just played here. We know one or two about Namibia, but I told my girls it was a story for another day and we should go in this game with different mindset. Forget what happened in the previous matches. And my players did just that and focused on the actual game – and we outclassed Namibia fitness wise; the girls showed strength – physically and mentally,” said Gaobinelwe.
2020-01-21 07:35:05 | 2 months ago