Still licking their wounds following last weekend’s lukewarm showing in the two-day four nations tournament in Luanda, Angola – the leg weary Brave Warriors will be out to dust themselves off when they host Guinea in the first leg of the second round of the 2018 FIFA Africa Zone World Cup qualifier.
The much anticipated clash against the West Africans is slated for the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Thursday, starting at 16h00.
Head coach Bucksy Mannetti will now have the luxury of fielding his best possible starting line-up since the date falls into FIFA’s calendar. The former Civics and Santos (SA) midfield anchorman has named a strong squad of 22 players for the short training camp, whereupon the squad will be trimmed to the match 18.
Eleven Arrows’ Jonas Sakaria and Edmund Kambanda of Unam, who both missed the Angolan trip as a result of insufficient travelling documents, have been added to the provisional squad.
“I’m privileged because I worked with the boys at under-20 level a couple of years ago and know their potential. Edmund can play anywhere on the field and that is a great plus for the team. So, being part of the squad would add more value to their game,” said Mannetti.
Tigers’ defender Ferdinand Karongee has also been included and Mannetti is confident the former Eleven Arrows tough tackling defender has matured into a great defender over the past months.
“He played in both last weekend’s matches in Angola, where his marking was excellent, bottling up top strikers while he was outstanding with his positioning and overall awareness. He has certainly raised his hand for selection.”
The Warriors wasted little time upon their arrival and knuckled down to some serious training yesterday ahead of the match against the visiting Guinea.
“It is of utmost importance that we keep playing well and winning at the same time. It should become a habit for the players to win matches. We must play better than what we did against Gambia since Guinea will be a different kettle of fish. They are a top side and could be tricky customers to deal with, but we should utilize home ground advantage to the maximum,” said Mannetti.
• The 22 member provisional squad reads as follows:
Virgil Vries, Max “Slimkat” Mbaeva, Lloyd Kazapua, Chris Katjiukua, Dynamo Fredericks, Ferdinand Karongee, Dudes Mwedihanga, Denzil Haoseb, Dennis Ngueza, Junior Gebhardt, Awillo Stephanus, Benson Shilongo, Wangu Gome-Batista, Deon Hotto Kavendjii, Stigga Ketjijere, Heini Isaacks, Edmund Kambanda, Jonas Sakaria, Peter Shalulile, Petrus Shitembi, Ballack Somaeb and Absalom Iimbondi.