Rescue operation for Gladiators

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… Coach feels Namibia can can still make it to women’s world cup

WINDHOEK – Despite their 1-nil home defeat against Zambia in the first leg of the 2014 FIFA Women Under-20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers in Windhoek last weekend, young Gladiators mentor Jacqui Shipanga is admanat her team has what it takes to overcome the deficit going into the decisive final leg in Zambia.

Shipanga was not pleased with the outcome of Saturday’s match but nevertheless was satisfied with the commitment of the players. “With the limited time at our disposal and missing some players through exams and injuries, I think the team did themselves very proud. It was a team effort and the determination was there for all to see, that’s why I have great belief in this team to do well,” she said, adding that the hosts tried by all means to get a goal but it was not to be. “That’s the irony of football and now we have to go back to the drawing board and prepare for the second leg,” Shipanga said.

She said the loss of Lena Noreses through injury prior to the match gave a chance to other players to come through and show their leadership abilities and overall the team fared well.

“I was quite impressed with the performance of Memory Ngonda, she played a good game but as a result of injuries and fatigue, we were forced to make changes and those players who came on played very well too but we needed to score that elusive goal”

“The girls are still lacking international experience for these type of games and so far they have showed massive character and are already knocking on the door of the senior national team, so the future can only be good for us.” She also praised the public that graced the stands of the Sam Nujoma Stadium to watch the encounter.

“Credit must go to the public that once again came out to render the necessary support and to the media as well. I know victory could have been great but throughout the match the crowd was constantly behind the team and that cn only augur well for the team’s confidence and morale.”

Zambia got their goal midday through the first half via the boot of Lwendo Chisamu, who spotted hosts shot stopper Melanie Hikuam off the line before despatching a long range shot over the keeper into the back of the net.

By Staff Reporter

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