By John Tuerijama
BRAVE Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti says the only way for the senior national football team to qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Cameroon is to convincingly defeat the visiting Guinea Bissau side on Saturday. Mannetti’s team is expected to outclass and outpace the visitors this weekend by firing on all cylinders to once again qualify for the continental showdown. Throngs of Brave Warriors supporters are expected to rally behind the senior national team to secure a convincing win over Guinea Bissau at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday. The stadium, named for Namibia’s founding president, is likely to turn into a proverbial bloodbath as the Brave Warriors are anticipated to take full advantage of the home crowd to secure a win. In its opening match of the 2019 AFCON campaign, Namibia went down by a solitary goal to Guinea Bissau. With the two sides on seven points each in Group K, the Brave Warriors are aiming for a 2-0 win over the West African counterparts. In an interview with Confidente this week, Mannetti in explaining the probable scenario said the Brave Warriors must beat the visitors by a 2-0 scoreline, and whatever the outcome between Moz ambi qu e and Zambia in Maputo, the ant icipated 2-0 win would warrant Namibia’s automatic qualification for Cameroon. Both Zambia and Mozambique are on four points, meaning that whoever wins will stretch their points to seven, but should Namibia beat Guinea Bissau by the needed 2-0 margin, Namibians can kick off celebrations, as they will be able to proceed in the AFCON championship. Mannetti said he hoped they would beat Guinea Bissau by the 2-0 margin, as when comes to the head-to-head margin elimination, the Brave Warriors will have an advantage over both Mozambique and Zambia. He said Namibia’s possible win over Guinea Bissau will give them a 3-1 advantage over Mozambique and a 2-1 lead over Guinea Bissau. However, if Guinea Bissau beat Mozambique in their final match they would be on ten points – if they lose to Namibia this coming Saturday – at which point the headto- head elimination is likely to be effected. Though the intent is to beat Guinea Bissau convincingly, the Warriors are struggling with a few injuries, with football sensation Deon Hotto nursing a hamstring, although the head coach was confident of a full recovery. Another setback was presented by the death of Riaan Hananub’s father, but Mannetti said that his inclusion in the team would depend on Hananub’s mental strength, while the renowned midfielder, Wangu Gome, was ruled out of contention for the upcoming match. “We will have a different approach against Guinea Bissau, and the approach will be different in the first and second half of the 90 minutes regular time,” stressed the head coach. In a message to fans, Mannetti said: “Let us celebrate the goals scored without any beer cans. The beer throwing is very dangerous to the players who normally celebrate their goals with fans.” He said the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rules do not allow the throwing of cans onto the pitch, and that such behaviour could lead to the Namibia Football Association (NFA) being fined for the unruly behaviour of some fans. Since taking over the reins as team coach, Mannetti led the Brave Warriors to victory in the 2016 Council of Southern African Football (COSAFA) champions, and also steered the senior team qualify for the 2018 African Nations Champions (CHAN) finals in Morocco earlier this year. As per the contractual agreement, Mannetti must have the team qualify for the 2019 AFCON spectacle in Cameroon. Namibia will play their final match of the qualifying campaign against Zambia in March next year, while Mozambique will conclude their campaign against Guinea Bissau the same month.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015