HAVING watched Morocco’s three previous matches during the group stages of their CHAN finals campaign, there is no excuse for the Brave Warriors’ technical team not to devise a deadly formula that will upset the hosts in their quarterfinal clash.
Namibia has over three days after their Zambia clash to analyse and study the ‘Atlas Lions’, as the Moroccan side is affectionately known as, and it is incumbent on the technical team to study each and every player of the North African side, and I bet they will do the same, as this will be a do-or-die encounter.
Felicitations to the national senior football team for their exceptional performance against their Southern African counterparts, Zambia, in Casablanca on Monday.
Namibia’s defence has been rated as one of the best in the tournament, after having conceded only one goal in three matches played during the group stages. In stark comparison to their two initial matches against both Ivory Coast and Uganda, Ricardo Mannetti fielded a squad on Monday night that was determined to upset Zambia with their attacking flair and dominance of ball possession. Having accomplished his objective of progressing to the CHAN’s quarterfinals, Mannetti, now Namibia’s only decorated football coach, has his attention squarely affixed on the quarterfinal clash against Morocco, which takes place on Saturday and promises to be a titanic battle for the Warriors. The one-all draw against Zambia meant that the Warriors remained second in their group, which meant that they could not avoid Morocco.
One could evidently see the desperation from the Zambians to avoid the host nation and their substitutions clearly worked in their favour.
The question now being asked by many within the footballing fraternity is whether Mannetti will employ an outright attacking strategy against Morocco or if he will continue with the lacklustre approach we saw against Ivory Coast and Uganda. Namibia’s match against Zambia was their best performance of their campaign thus far. However, critics have been asking what instructions were given to captain, Ronald Ketjijere. Ketjijere has been playing a more defensive role, as he is barely seen taking charge of the engine room, and clumsy passes by the veteran skipper has also been a bone of contention by local football critics. Having watched host Morocco against the likes of Sudan, Mauritania and Guinea, there is undoubtedly no excuse for Mannetti not to devise a formula that could upset the hosts in their own backyard. It will be one of the tournament highlights if Namibia beat Morocco over the weekend, given that the Brave Warriors were widely seen as the underdogs going into the tournament. The match against Morocco will not be child’s play, and an attacking approach outright is what many are looking forward to, as this will create the much-needed chances for our strikers. I implore Mannetti to deploy Itamunua Keimuine and Hendrik Somaeb upfront, while Absalom Imbondi, who has been in the class of his own and has tremendously contributed to the Brave Warriors successful campaign thus far, should continue to be a key player in the team’s engine room. The resting of our defenders, Charles Hambira, Riaan !Hanamub and Ferdinand Karongee, due to their yellow cards, may have been a blessing in disguise, and Tiberius Lombard being named Man of the Match against Zambia, must surely count for something.
Good luck boys! We are firmly behind you!
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