Mannetti remains positive despite narrow defeat at Bissau


Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti remains positive for qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group following the team’s 1-0 defeat at Guinea Bissau on Saturday night in a match played out at the Estadio 24 de Setembro.

The Warriors came into the match with issues of match fitness but showed determination and character throughout the match albeit the 1-0 defeat the Bissau.

Guinea Bissau, who made history earlier this year as they qualified for their first ever Nations Cup appearance, scored a well taken Jerson free kick on 24 minutes.

“ The goal was a brilliant free kick taken. No one is to blame and they held onto until the end. But we played well as well” reveals Mannetti.

The coach says the team remained on track for Cameroon 2019 and can change things around come next year when the qualifiers resume.

“ If the boys can give such a showing despite all the challenges of no football for league and country in the past year, I think it gives me hope that we can make it still. We should not press panic buttons. There is no need yet”.

Mannetti further explains that the long break before the next qualifiers give the team time to make some amends especially in terms of match fitness and he hopes for the domestic league to start.'

“I think it is also a blessing in disguise that we only play next year and hopefully by then the boys would have kicked off with the league here locally and build on today’s performance. Today’s lose is not a setback but a hurdle that we failed to overcome but we remain positive and focused on Cameron 2019”, stresses Mannetti.

In the other Group K game, Mozambique got their first win over Zambia in recent memory , 1-0, to go top of the group, followed by Guinea Bissau. Namibia and Zambia completes the table in that order.

The team returns home on Sunday with some players to feature in the Debmarine Namibia Cup on 17 June after which they will depart for the 2017 Cosafa Cup to face Lesotho on 01 July in Rustenburg in the quarterfinals.

Warriors vs Guinea Bissau: Virgil Vries, Chris Katjiukua, Willem Mwedihanga, Larry Horaeb, Junior Gebhardt (Riaan Hanamub), Ronald Ketjijere (captain), Denzil Haoseb (Wangu Gome), Deon Hotto, Petrus Shitembi, Benson Shilongo ( Hendrick Somaeb) and Peter Shalulile.