Brave Warriors head coach Bobby Samaria yesterday admitted that facing one of Africa’s top-ranked countries, Senegal, for their Cosafa Cup opening match on Thursday will not be an easy task, but maintained they have a solid plan in place to topple the continental giants.
The tournament starts today and ends on 18 July 2021 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Namibia is in Group C of the regional tournament alongside competition guest participants Senegal, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
After Senegal, the Warriors will take on regional rivals Zimbabwe on 11 July, and their last group match will be against foes Mozambique on 14 July.
The Warriors tested themselves out against Lesotho and Botswana over the weekend, playing to a goalless draw against the Crocodiles of Lesotho in their first friendly on Saturday, and then to a one-all draw against the Zebras of Botswana on Sunday.
“We used the two friendly games to test out ourselves and to also try our tactical plan before we face Senegal,” Samaria told the NFA media desk from his South African base.
He said they still have three more training sessions to fine-tune their plan, but he is impressed with how the players are responding to the plan, and also how their forwards are coming together.
“Yes, we are in a very difficult group and the match against Senegal will be a huge task as they are Africa’s top-ranked team, but we are from the Land of the Brave – we will go out there and put up a fight. Like any other team in the tournament, our target is to progress to the knockout stage, despite the tough opponents we face.”
Meanwhile, there has been a slight change to the tournament fixtures following the withdrawal of Comoros, who were set to face defending champions Zambia, Malawi and Madagascar in Group B. The withdrawal now means the three teams remaining in Group B will each play two games, with the top-placed side progressing to the semi-finals.
Only the top team in each of the three groups will advance to the semi-finals, along with the best-placed runner-up.
In order to level the playing field in the calculation for that best runner-up position, the results against the bottom sides in the four-team Groups A and C will be discarded.
This is only to determine the best runner-up across the pool. The winners of each group will be decided using all games. There will be no Plate competition this year.
Brave Warriors Cosafa squad: Loydt Kazapua, Kamaijanda Ndisiro, Kennedy Amutenya, Larry Horaeb, Ananias Gebhardt, Immanuel Heita, Denzil Haoseb, Ivan Kamberipa, Emilio Martin, Aprocius Petrus, Charles Hambira, Dynamo Fredericks, Ambrosius Amseb, Wendel Rudath, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcel Papama, Prins Tjiueza, Willy Stephanus, Alfeus Handura, Wesley Katjiteo, Elmo Kambindu, Joslin Kamatuka, Isaskar Gurirab, Junior Theophilus and Salomon Omseb.