Rikus Grobler | Jun 20, 2017 | 0
U17 squad brings home the COSAFA title
Namibia coach Timothy Tjongarero was full of praise for his side after they claimed the 2016 COSAFA Under-17 Championships title with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out victory over South Africa in the final last weekend.
The team claimed title after a 1-1 draw in full match that later went to penalties. It was some comeback from the Namibia side after they lost 4-0 to South Africa in the pool stages of the competition.
“It was a very difficult game but we had an idea of the tactic to use and it worked. Our idea was to frustrate the South African team at the back and throw long balls up there. I think it went well. The motivation and the belief was there and we kept on going, even though they equalised, we still believed we could win,” the coach said.
Tjongarero was especially proud of his side given the caliber of the opponents they faced.
After a goalless first half in which Namibia had the better chances, the deadlock was finally broken midway through the second period when substitute Godwin Awaseb, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes, smashed the ball home.
“They are a good team and we know them well. They have a lot of players who play in academies in South Africa and have quality players in a balanced team. We gave them good competition, as they did to us,” he added.
Tjongarero said the experience of playing in the COSAFA Under-17 Championships will be invaluable to his team.
“For us it was a good level and we faced different opponents with different styles, different pace and different systems,” he said.
“It helps us to develop and improve. I really appreciate that COSAFA is organising a tournament for the Under-17 age group and if it is played on a regular basis then it will be very good 10 years later for all our teams in the region,” he said.