Brave Warriors gaffer Bobby Samaria yesterday refused to bask too much in the splendour of their 2-1 win over 2021 Cosafa Cup guest participants Senegal, saying more work still lies ahead as they prepare to face regional rivals Zimbabwe on Sunday for their second Group B clash.
Namibia sported almost all the hallmarks associated with warriors as they displayed unyielding confidence, aggressiveness, discipline and bravery in taking down Senegal’s Lions of Teranga in their Cosafa Cup opener at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We did well today, as we got the three points. Our nerves are a bit settled for now, as we collected the three points but we have not achieved anything yet, as this is just the opening match of the competition,” said Samaria in a post-match interview.
“I am happy with how the boys played, their transition and also at the back; they were all perfect. Now, we focus on the next game and see how we do, going forward.”
Samaria earlier indicated that reaching the second round of the tournament – and hopefully winning it – remains the primary target.
The Warriors got into motion when enterprising midfielder Marcel Papama connected well with a defence-splitting pass birthed by the evergreen Wesley ‘Ballack’ Katjiteo to put Namibia ahead in the 14th minute of the opening half, but it was not long before Senegal equalised through Alberte Diene – three minutes later.
The two sides kept coming at each other in search of a lead, but all efforts from both ends of the field proved futile as they went to the changeover levelled at 1-1. More determined and eager to put matters to bed once and for all in the second stanza, Samaria made an assortment of changes in midfield and at the back, and his gamble handsomely paid off as the Warriors started connecting decent passes and more activities could be seen upfront.
The Namibians kept paddling forward, in search of the lead, and it was in the 50th minute that striker Elmo Kambindu found the back of the net to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead over favourites Senegal, who resembled a pale shadow of themselves.
The Lions of Teranga inserted more pressure on the Namibians in the dying minutes of the match, attacking from both flanks and crossing in long balls into the Warriors’ back, but the determined Namibians were rock-solid, holding on for a well-deserved victory.
Namibia will next face regional giants Zimbabwe on Sunday in their second Group B clash.