Namibian national soccer team needs to maintain their clinical performance that saw them dispatching Mauritius on a 2-1 score line when they meet Seychelles today for a ticket to the quarter finals of the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa).
The Brave Warriors need to win against Seychelles today to secure their chances of finishing on top of Group A and meet their long time nemesis, the South African national soccer team in the quarter finals on June 14 in Zambia.
South Africa or Bafana Bafana as they are affectionately known by their legion of fans is one of the teams that received a bye on the first round together with Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia because of their dominance of the game in the Sadc.
The Brave Warriors, under the guidance of Ricardo Mannetti, last Friday sealed their win in the first half although they had to do some constant defending in the second half after the Indian Ocean Islanders came back from the break with an improved fighting spirit at the opening of the Cosafa senior challenge cup in Zambia sealing.
The Brave Warriors’ first goal on Friday came from a sublime 30-metre free-kick by young Petrus Shitembi while the second one came a minute before the breather courtesy of Pinehas Jakob who eventually sealed off the match as a contest.
Although the Brave Warriors were pushed a bit to the back foot in the second half courtesy of constant attacking by the Mauritian team, Manetti’s men showed their class in defence where they showcased moments of brilliance.
Interestingly, the Brave Warriors opponents today, Seychelles are no push-overs although they have not dominated the tournament in the past as compared to Namibia.
The Island nation thrives on free flowing football and are also good in short passes, something that would need the Brave Warriors to be on the watch out for and also take their chances as they come if they are to progress to the quarter finals of the N$500 000 tournament.
In the history of the tournament, the Brave Warriors have attained two runners-up finishes in 1997 and 1999.
On the other hand, the Seychelles competed in the Cosafa Cup for the first time in 2005 when they played in the mini-tournament in Mauritius but were beaten 3-0 by South Africa who are, ironically, possible opponents for the Brave Warriors if they pull through today.
The Island nation, who was granted membership of Cosafa in 1999, had been excluded from previous editions of the competition because of their failure to send a team to all of Cosafa’s youth tournaments, which is a prerequisite for participation in the Cosafa Senior Challenge.
But in recent years, they have fulfilled that obligation and now pit their talent against the region’s best.
Seychelles won their first-ever match in the competition as they with a 7-0 drabbing of Mauritius 8 years ago and to date the hold the record for the most goals in Cosafa match by Philip Zialor, who scored four times in that popular win.