• June 6th, 2020

Namibia progress despite thrashing against Uganda… as Copa Coca Cola Africa Cup action intensifies

Maurice Kambukwe

KENYA – Despite suffering two consecutive heavy defeats against Uganda in yesterday’s opening matches of the 2019 Copa Coca Cola Africa Cup underway in Kenya’s city of Thika, Namibia still managed to progress to the quarterfinals of the competition on the ticket of Ethiopia, who failed to pitch up at the tournament.

With Ethiopia failing to show up at the youth football tournament, it left Namibia and Uganda as the only two contenders in Group C and organisers resolved that both teams will automatically progress to the quarterfinals but will have to play each other twice in order to plug the void left by Ethiopia.

In the opening match, the Namibian youngsters – who are making a maiden appearance at the tourney – were thrashed 11-2 by the marauding Ugandans, who proved no match for Namibia. In their second encounter of the day, which also signified their last group match, Namibia tried fighting back with the hope of overturning their fortunes, but Uganda once again proved superior as the East Africans defeat Namibia by four unanswered goals.

Despite the two humbling defeats, Namibia still managed to limp into the quarterfinals of the football development tournament, where they await to face either Angola or Botswana, depending on the outcome of that encounter.

Speaking to the New Era Sport crew at the M-PESA Foundation Academy stadium in Thika, Namibian head coach Rodney Doeseb said lack of concentration and poor defending were to be blamed for the two defeats against Uganda.

He, however, vowed his charges will bounce back in tomorrow’s quarterfinals, saying with a few adjustments and change of approach, a good result can be obtained. 

“The boys lost focus in the two opening matches, which led them feeling intimidated, and that forced us to come short against Uganda. Going in the quarterfinals, we will work on rectifying our mistakes and make sure that the moral is back in the team, because we need to perform well in the next round. We now know where we went wrong and will definitely work on those mistakes,” said a humbled but confident Doeseb.

The Namibian team is composed of participants who were selected from the various secondary schools that participated in the re-launched Namibian version of the Copa Coca-Cola tournament. In Kenya, the Namibian youngsters are contesting for top honours against the likes of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and host Kenya.

The Copa Coca-Cola Cup is the premier worldwide grassroots football tournament that unlocks the dreams and possibilities of global football stars. It also aims to inspire young footballers to achieve their dreams through a renowned and respected football tournament in various countries globally, which continues to give voice to the faces who nurture the budding talents of young football heroes as it showcases Africa’s pride and belief in upcoming youngsters.

In Africa, the Copa Coca-Cola Cup is played in 22 countries that include Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Rwanda, Congo, Swaziland, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mauritius and Burundi. 

Outside the continent, the tourney is also played in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The tournament originated in Zimbabwe in 1989, with the aim of seeking to support the development of potential grassroots talent and promote active, healthy lifestyles among young people.

Staff Reporter
2019-12-03 08:53:49 | 6 months ago

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