Brave Warriors claims Cosafa Castle Cup Plate honors
A Ronald Ketjijere penalty on 21 minutes propelled the Brave Warriors to the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup Plate trophy when they beat Zambia 1-0 in the final at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia on Friday night.
In a fiercely contested Plate Final match played in front of an appreciate crowd ,Captain Ronald Ketjijere stroked home a penalty midway through the first half to give the Brave Warriors the Plate title having lost their hold on the Cup this year.
Namibia become the third winners of the Plate competition after Mozambique (2013) and Malawi (2015).
Namibia deserved the win after creating more chances in the game, but it was a nervy finish as Zambia piled on the pressure in the closing stages.
Namibia were ahead when Donashano Malama handled a cross from the lively Deon Hotto and Ketjijere easily scored from the spot on 21 minutes.
“People say the Plate is second best to the trophy, but we had a lot of first team players absent,” Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti said after the game. “It shows Namibia have a lot of depth. We are not scared to take the on the big guns of Africa now.”
Manneti added that he views this latest acquisition as a success following the team's unfortunate preparations for the tournament marred by ill-discipline,injuries and withdrawals.
" We have some difficult time ahead of this competition but we beat Niger, draw Malawi and then lost to Botswana in our first game here and then beat Mozambique and now we beat Zambia. that says a lot about our team. We have won the Cup and Plate in a year's time and that is impressive".
Saturday will see the medals awarded in the main Cup competition with the third-place play-off and final to be staged, also at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
DR Congo and Swaziland play for the bronze medal at 15h00, with the latter eager to finish a successful tournament on a high after their semifinal mauling at the hands of South Africa.
DR Congo have yet to concede a goal in this competition and were ousted in the semifinals by Botswana on penalties.
The final sees South Africa go for a record-equalling fourth trophy win in the COSAFA Castle Cup, while Botswana are looking for their first ever major trophy.
FRIDAY’S PLATE FINAL RESULT
Zambia 0 Namibia 1 (Ketjijere 21’)
SATURDAY’S CUP THIRD-PLACE PLAYOFF
Swaziland vs DR Congo (15h00 local; 14h00 GMT) – Sam Nujoma Stadium
SATURDAY’S CUP FINAL
South Africa vs Botswana (17h30 local; 16h30 GMT) – Sam Nujoma Stadium