WINDHOEK – Following Sunday’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Mambas of Mozambique in their 2019 Cosafa Cup opening match, Brave Warriors assistant coach Colin Benjamin has cautioned his charges against taking the foot off the paddle when they face the Flames of Malawi tonight at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, South Africa.
The Namibian side participating at this year’s 19th edition of the regional football showpiece is under the stewardship of national team assistant gaffer Benjamin, who was tasked with overseeing the team’s participation in Durban while head coach Ricardo Mannetti fully attends to Namibia’s preparations for this year’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held in Egypt next month.
On Sunday, Namibia showed class and great maturity as they fumigated the Mambas of Mozambique via a 2-1 win through the brilliance of Joslin Kamatuka and Absalom Iimbondi, who was also voted Man of the Match. Witiness Quembo scored Mozambique’s only goal of the match.
With the victory, Namibia jointly sit atop of the Group B log table on three points along with today’s opponent’s Malawi, who also secured an impressive 3-0 win over Seychelles on Sunday. If Namibia manage to beat Malawi today, they will progress to face Zambia who await in the quarterfinals, while the winners of Group A will be pitted against defending champions Zimbabwe in the quarters.
Speaking to the Namibia Football Association (NFA) media desk ahead of today’s vital clash, Benjamin – a former Brave Warriors and German giants Hamburger SV defensive midfielder in his heyday – warned that they cannot afford to slow down against an all-around team like Malawi and, therefore, a win remains a central point of their game plan.
“Malawi are top now after their three goals win and we will plan accordingly and try our best to get a good result. We don’t want to lose and a win will be a bonus for us. We have young players that need to play more and this game is very important for them to come to the party again. We will surely make one or two changes to give the youngsters a chance to shine,” said an upbeat Benjamin.
Warriors’ young goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua echoed what his coach said; adding that reaching the quarterfinals is their main priority and will go a long way in according some of the youngsters in the squad much needed exposure.
“We have so many new players making their debuts, others have also not played together at this level and their nerves were tested in the opening match. But, in the end we won and that gives us a chance. If we don’t lose against Malawi and then anything is possible. We have the confidence and so does Malawi, so expect a good game on Tuesday (today),” added a confident Kazapua, speaking to the NFA.