‘Do or die’ for Brave Warriors in final COSAFA group stage encounter
By Adolf Kaure.
Namibia will need a miracle to advance to the next stage of the 2023 Hollywood Bets COSAFA Cup when they face neighbours Botswana tonight at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, South Africa.
The Tafel Lager Brave Warriors are placed in last place of Group A with one point after their 2-1 defeat against Eswatini on Saturday.
Absolom Iimbondi gave Namibia the lead with a sublime free kick which nestled the net after 34 minutes.
The lead lasted only six minutes as a deflected shot from outside the penalty area from Sifiso Matse, brought the match back to parity.
Despite having 66% ball possession during the first half, the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors were left reeling when a direct kick from Eswatini goalkeeper Ncamiso Dlamini was flicked on and cooly slotted through the legs of Namibia goalkeeper Edward Maova by Bongwa Matsebula’s left boot to put them in the lead.
“We started off slow, somehow, we got into the game and we tookthe lead. We failed to get our organisation and structure back after scoring. They got back into the game and they equalised because we did not take accountability and responsibility.”
“They scored swiftly after that because we ‘napped’. It does not matter how big or small your opponent is internationally, when you make those errors you will get punished,” said Benjamin during his post match briefing.
No further goals were scored in the second half, leaving coach Benjamin’s troops needing a win against Botswana and also needing results in the match between South Africa and Eswatini to favour them, so that they could progress to the quarter finals.
Benjamin has cautioned his team to learn from their mistakes against Eswatini while being cognisant that Botswana plays a different type of football which is based on physicality and aerial presence.
The action betweeen the Zebras and the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors kicks off at 18:00.
Namibia defender Approcius Petrus (in red) attempts to halt an Eswatini attack during a Hollywood Bets COSAFA Cup Group A match on Saturday. (Photograph courtesy of COSAFA)