Let’s believe in this Brave Warriors team
09 June 2019 | Columns
The Namibia senior soccer team has qualified for the 2019 CAF (Confederation of African Football) AFCON (African Cup of Nations) for a third time in our history, which is a very good achievement. The draw for the tournament taking place in Egypt placed the country in Group D along with former winners Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
The draw seems to be a tough one as Namibia will be competing against three of the best countries on the continent. It is thus time for the Brave Warriors’ supporters to get behind their team.
Every Namibian should have faith. Coach Ricardo Mannetti as well as his assistants, Ronny Kananelo and Colin Benjamin, have achieved a lot so far.
Nobody expected Namibia to advance from a tough qualifying group which included the 2012 CAF AFCON champions Zambia, hot favourites Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.
Namibia, however, proved everyone wrong by beating Mozambique home and away, and drawing against Zambia and Guinea Bissau at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.
Namibian soccer fans should also embrace the underdog tag as it has done favours for the country in the past. With the introduction of a new 24-team tournament, it is quite possible for Namibia to advance to the second round of the tournament, even though the other three teams in the group are ‘licking their lips’ at the prospect of facing off against us.
The 24-team tournament will allow the four best third place finishers to make it through to the second round, and this is an opportunity Namibia needs to take.
In the past another Ricardo Mannetti coached Brave Warriors team did wonders when they lifted the 2015 Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) Castle Cup which was held in South Africa. The scintillating Namibia conquered all who stood in their way at the tournament, including the likes of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique.
Namibia also made their fans proud when they qualified for the 2018 CAF CHAN (African Nations Championship) tournament which took place in Morocco. During this tournament Namibia advanced from a group which included Ivory Coast, Zambia and Uganda. We lost 2-0 to Morocco in the quarter finals, who were the eventual winners of the tournament with a 4-0 win over Nigeria in the final. This was a fine display and showed that Namibia cannot be disregarded in tournaments.
If every Namibian rallies behind the team and believes, I think Namibia can get past the group stages and cause a few upsets along the way. The Namibian senior soccer team can make history, as long as faith and belief exist.