The national under-20 football team’s 2-0 Saturday defeat against Rwanda in the 18th African Youth Championship qualifiers has put head-coach Ricardo Mannetti in an uncompromising must-win away match early next month in Kigali.
The under-20 national team mentor, Mannetti, told The Villager Sports that Rwanda, compared to their Namibian counterpart, had international friendly matches against Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Namibian under-20 football team only had preparatory matches against teams from the NPL’s second division.
The head-coach attributed lack of international friendly matches to the ill-financial situation of the national football body (NFA).
He added that football is unpredictable but hoped that the young lads have learnt their lesson.
Mannetti said he knew exactly what to expect in the return encounter.
“I am going to change a few tactics and introduce some new players for the away match. Remember that these players were getting to know each other but will mentally be prepared for Kigali,” said the former Brave Warriors midfielder.
He added that this is a new crop of players whom the ‘technical committee’ intended to keep and build up a formidable national side eventually.
The young lads, despite failure to record the much needed win, created a number of chances at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Terdius Uiseb shot at goal in the first half was denied by the crossbar with other chances put to waste.
Rwanda’s goals came through Energy Bayisenge and teammate Kipson Atuheira.
Namibia need to beat Rwanda by 3-0 to advance further in the qualifiers as the team is expected to report for training tomorrow.