Exasperated by the experiences of last Friday’s first leg 1-all draw, Brave Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti yesterday vowed not to handle the Scorpions of Gambia with baby gloves when they clash in today’s 2nd leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
With the match slated for the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 16h00, Mannetti said getting a draw away from home was somehow a bit encouraging going into today’s match, but said it will be very important for his charges to get a victory today and hopefully finish off what they started in Gambia.
The Cosafa Cup-winning mentor specifically called on those in the striking department to perk up their game and account for every ball lingering in front of the visitors’ goalmouth.
“Our players are capable of pulling off a great result, so it’s just a matter of stepping up to the occasion. We cannot underestimate Gambia as we also know what they are capable of, so it will be important for us to take all our chances,” said Mannetti.
On the injury list, Mannetti revealed that they could be without the reliable services of hard-tackling defender Denzil Haoseb, who is still nursing a head injury but, the coach expressed hope with the return of striker Peter Shalulile, who was not part of the first leg due to an ankle injury.
“We have brought in Peter and together with Denzil, we are still assessing whether they will be fit enough to feature today but I’m confident our medical team will give us good news. Denzil will be key and Peter is a valuable offensive player. It is a match we need to win and we need to have all our players on form today”, Mannetti explains
On his side, Gambia coach Raoul Savoy indicated he was disappointed with the first leg result and today’s aim is to get a valuable win away from home.
“It was disappointing not to win at home on Friday as it was the first time in a long time that we played so bad and now we have to fight back and get a result that can take us through, it won’t be easy but we have to do it. We could not use the home advantage and Namibia were lucky to have scored”.
The Swiss coach, who only took over Gambia in May this year replaced Peter Bonu Johnson, has extensive experience of working in Africa. He previously managed Ethiopia and Swaziland. He also had stints in club football in Morocco, Cameroon and Algeria. He has also coached in his native Switzerland.
Tickets for the match cost N$40.00 at all Computicket outlets at Shoprite and Checkers countrywide as well as at Football House in Katutura.