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Improving Warriors lost to a better side-Mannetti

Improving Warriors lost to a better side-Mannetti

NFA – Morocco’s tactical prowess, height and home ground advantage were the determining factors in ending the Brave warriors amazing run at the African Nations Championships (CHAN) finals as they lost 2-0 to the host on Saturday night in Casablanca.

Morocco scored their first goal on 33 minutes, a quick taken free-kick that saw Ayoub El Kaabi finish past Loydt Kazapua and their second goal on 53 minutes through a headed goal from a corner kick by Man of the Match Sallahedine Saidi.

Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti said his side was always going to be up against it and hence the respect they had for Morocco and their plot for an upset ahead of the game.

“They showed their quality. They had the height, tactically good and the home crowd and combine all that and we had our backs against it from the start. We came here to upset them and it did not work in the end”, Mannetti told a packed post-match press conference on Saturday night.

The coach could also not be drawn into the debate about the referee’s performance as many thought the decision were questionable at times.

“I will not talk about the referee. I’m a coach and will fight for my team. Football is an emotional game and as a coach I will fight for my team and I did that tonight because I wanted my team to win and now it’s over”.

Mannetti also implored the Namibia Premier League clubs to take competing in Africa seriously if local football was to improve.

“NPL clubs should take continental football seriously to improve our level otherwise these other countries will keep on getting better and we always catch up and that is not ideal”.

Despite being disappointed with the defeat on the night, Mannetti is satisfied with the overall Moroccan expedition for the Brave Warriors.

“Overall, we came here and worked ourselves out of group stage. Magnificent achievement to reach this stage. No one gave us a chance and we worked hard for it. I’m happy for the boys tonight and the whole tournament for The Brave Warriors and we go home proud”.



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Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.