WINDHOEK- Brave Warriors interim coach Bobby Samaria yesterday admitted that they will be under extreme pressure when they face Madagascar in 2nd leg of the final round qualifiers of the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) at the Sam Nujoma Stadium this Saturday.
Namibia suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their two-legged qualifier away in Antananarivo, and will be under immense pressure to overturn that result going into Saturday’s crunch match.
In a light conversation with New Era Sport yesterday, Samaria admitted that it will not be an easy encounter against the highly motivated Malagasies, but maintained that they are battle ready and will throw the entire kitchen sink at the visiting Islanders come Saturday.
“The mood in the camp is great and boys are eager to go. We have everything to play for come Saturday, because we are going into this match with lower hand and that means we need to bounce back,” said the former African Stars and Tigers veteran mentor.
He added that all 24 players will be available with the exception of defender Larry Horaeb, who will be serving suspension having been booked twice in the qualifiers. Samaria, however, said the team has been boosted by the inclusion of experienced midfielder Wangu Gome, who could start on Saturday.
To ensure that his charges are well oiled and fully functioning ahead of Saturday’s clash, Samaria this past weekend took the Warriors to Mariental for two friendly games against the //Kharas and Hardap regional teams as part of their preparations.
He said in the absence of a top tier domestic football league, the two friendlies against //Kharas and Hardap came in handy for the national team as the players at least got some game time and tried out different tactics.
“We know the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in (the inactive Namibia Premier League), that’s why we played two friendly matches in Mariental against Hardap and //Kharas regions, which were quite an eye opener for the players. We lack game time as a team and you could see from the players’ performance that they really lack regular game time,” he added.
The aggregate winner of Saturday’s match will qualify for the 2020 Chan finals to be held in Cameroon. Next year’s Chan tournament will be the 6th edition of the biennial football competition, which is organised by Caf and it exclusively features players playing in their respective domestic leagues. It will be hosted between January and February 2020 in Cameroon.
Unlike the Afcon, the competing national teams must be composed of players plying their trades domestically. For example, a Namibian player is only eligible to play for Namibia at Chan if he is playing for a Namibian club. Morocco are the defending champions.
2019-10-15 07:27:34 30 days ago