Better Expected of Brave Warriors

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Local Namibian coaches have mixed feelings about the performances of the Brave Warriors on Wednesday night. United Africa Tigers coach Bobby Samaria said Namibia did quite well despite going down by a single goal to South Africa. Samaria said the players showed real commitment and hunger to play for the national side. “They played in a structured manner and their performance is a real improvement on the way they played against the Seychelles.” The former Black Africa midfielder and coach said that the team moved as a unit and was technically aware of their movements all the time. He added that the only goal of the match resulted from confusion, which is prone to happen when you have too many players around the ball. “Namibia closed the visitors down comfortably especially in the middle of the park.” Former Brave Warriors midfielder Sandro de Gouviea said that Namibia still needs to do more and that it is still early days for anyone to tell whether the team is moving in the right direction. De Gouveia said the team has four or five promising players but still needs real talent in the team and thus the coach should maybe look at bringing in younger players from the junior team. The former Blue Waters midfielder further noted that some players appeared to be playing out of position. He added that Bafana Bafana was definitely not at full swing and thus it was difficult to make any serious conclusions on the strength of the Namibian squad. He added that Namibia needed to start scoring goals and winning in order to boost its confidence. The Bafana produced an uninspiring performance as they beat Namibia 1- 0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Wednesday evening. Katlego Mashego scored the only goal of a very scrappy game, which was made more difficult by an extremely bumpy pitch. Despite the condition of the pitch, it was Pitso Mosimane’s men who adapted quickest and created the first real chance of the game in the 20th minute when winger Dillon Sheppard curled a superb free-kick into the area, but his unmarked Sundowns teammate Surprise Moriri astonishingly contrived to head the ball over the bar. The visitors were guilty of far too many wayward passes and were almost made to pay for their recklessness when a lazy pass by skipper Benson Mhlongo was intercepted by Heinrich Isaacs, who raced upfield before sending his shot, from just outside the area, wide of goal. Namibia were denied a strong penalty claim when one of their players appeared to be fouled by former Bafana skipper Aaron Mokoena, but Angolan referee Leopoldo Mavunza waved away their appeals to end the half with the match still goalless. Namibia started the second half well, but by pushing more players forward, left themselves vulnerable at the back, a factor which the South Africans took full advantage of in the 61st minute. Bafana Bafana launched a quick counter-attack and striker Glen Salmon played the ball over the defence for Mashego to run onto, and such was the confusion among the Brave Warriors’ defence that they only managed to nudge the ball past their own onrushing goalkeeper for Mashego to slide home. The visitors should have doubled their lead three minutes from the end when Mashego produced a superb cross into the area for substitute Siyabonga Nkosi, but the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder’s header flew straight at the Namibian keeper. The hosts threw almost everyone forward in a bid to get an equalizer and they were almost rewarded in the final minute of the game following some sloppy defending by the visitors, but Bafana keeper Rowen Fernandez raced off his line to produce a superb save as he denied a opponent from scoring, thus handing Bafana Bafana a morale-boosting victory. * Additional Reporting Kickoff, South Africa

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