Samaria and Warriors at crossroads against Mali

The Brave Warriors interim coach Bobby Samaria reckons the clash against Mali tonight at the Sam Nujoma Stadium will be do-or-die as the race for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals qualification take shape in Group A. The match tonight will kick off at 21h00.

Namibia lost 1-0 in Bamako to Mali and coach Samaria took some positives from that game he hopes will give his charges the edge over the same opponents.

“You cannot choose how you lose. However, you can choose how to come back and prepare to win again,” Samaria says.

The match will be played behind closed doors, no fans allowed, due to the COVID-19 measures and coach Samaria reckons playing at home will give the Brave Warriors the necessary push to get over the line.

“It is very important for us playing at home to win the match, that’s our emphasis here. We still believe that of course, we can do this, and we will fight all the way. Guinea played to a 1-1 draw against Chad away [on Sunday], so they are on eight points.

“The other guys (Mali) are on seven and we are on three. If we get those three points on Tuesday, then the gap is narrowing.”

Samaria also explains the approach in the 1-0 defeat at Mali on Friday night. “In Mali, we had two approaches: The first was to defend and get us over the line of half-time. Unfortunately, that did not happen; we conceded a penalty. In the second half, we started offensively. Here of course it’s the reverse. We’ll start on the front foot.”

Samaria will look to follow to emulate the feats of former coach Ricardo Mannetti by leading the team to the African Nations Championships (CHAN) finals, as well as the AFCON Finals, back to back. Namibia made history by making it to the 2018 Chan quarter-finals in their debut campaign, while they also featured at Afcon last year. They will feature at the CHAN finals in Cameroon in January and will have to do their best to reach the AFCON finals to be played later in 2021 also in Cameroon.

Victory for the Brave Warriors tonight will moves them to six points, one behind Mali with two matches, at home to Guinea and away to Chad, left to play.