Namibia will use their experience and the 12th man qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals when they take on Zambia on Saturday in a qualifier at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, coach Ricardo Mannetti says.
Surprised and buoyed by the a handful of Namibians who welcomed them at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Thursday night, coach Ricardo Mannetti says the team have what it takes to get a desired result on Saturday against the host Zambia.
“I have been with this team for some years now and some players have worked with me since their youth days and we have the experience of doing well in the last four years. We won Cosafa, qualified for CHAN finals, and even lost in the quarterfinals and here we are. The players are motivated and seeing this number of people and knowing that more will turn up on Saturday means a lot. For the first time, the team is welcomed by so many people at an airport in a foreign country and this can only motivate the boys”, states Mannetti.
Brave Warriors captain Roland Ketjijere echoes Mannetti thoughts and explains that the decisive moment has arrived indeed.
“It has come to this; we have so many happy people at the airport pushing us to do well on Saturday. We know the work to be done and we remain focused not to disappoint them on Saturday. AFCON is the biggest prize in African football and for our generation of players to make it and make it in front of these Namibians in Zambia will be sentimental indeed,” says Ketjijere. Among their welcoming the team is Ambassador Siyave Haindongo and his staff as well as FIFA Normalization Committee Deputy Chairperson Franco Cosmos.
Mannetti has brought along 26 players from which the match 18 will be drawn from and the rest will be the supporting cast for the grand finale of a possibly wonderful journey to Egypt.
The Brave Warriors will have to avoid defeat in Zambia on Saturday to all but secure a berth at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July. The match on Saturday will be live on pay television DsTV on Channel 229 (SuperSport 9) from 18h15 with kickoff set for 18h30 at the National Heroes Stadium Satdium.
Namibian football fans will be part of the action in Lusaka as buses departed from Windheok, Oshakati, Rundu and Katima Mulilo full of enthusiastic Namibians who are determined to witness the historic match away from home.
Guinea Bissau and Namibia are top of Group K on eight points each with Mozambique in third place on seven points. Zambia are on four points are out of the race to Egypt 2019. The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations.
Brave Warriors in Zambia : Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva, Loydt Kazapua, Petrus Shitembi, Tiberius Lombard, Ananias Gebhardt, Willy Stephanus, Denzil Haoseb, Peter Shalulile , Marcel Papama, Riaan Hanamub, Dynamo Fredericks, Emilio Martin, Ronald Ketjijere, Benson Shilongo, Ivan Kamberipa, Edmund Kambanda, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Joslin Kamatuka, Charles Hambira, Treasure Kauapirura, Itamunua Keimuine ,Immanuel Heita ,Absalom Iimbondi and Deon Hotto.