WINDHOEK – Brave Warriors Ricardo Mannetti says there is no need to pre-gauge their fate in the ongoing 2018 COSAFA Cup, as the plan is to take it one match at a time and first on his tilt are regional rivals the Chipolopolo of Zambia.
The Namibian 2015 COSAFA Cup winning gaffer says he knows what to expect when they lock horns with Zambia in the quarterfinals tomorrow at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium (15h00) in Polokwane, as the two teams recently went toe-to-toe at this year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Morocco.
“Zambia is a familiar team for us. We just played them at CHAN and will also play them in the African Nations Cup qualifiers,” Mannetti said. “I think it will be a very open game. It is a derby and we want to win the tournament, but for now we are just focusing on Zambia.
“Beating them will mean that we are in the semifinals and it will also mean that we continue the psychological superiority that we have over them, which will be especially advantageous going into the Nations Cup qualifiers in September.
“So this is much more important than just a quarterfinal match at the COSAFA Cup – it goes a long way in terms of our qualifiers, the psychological edge and so on. So it is a very important game for Namibia.”
Mannetti is hesitant to suggest his Namibian side can repeat their 2015 COSAFA Cup triumph, and says all their focus is rather on beating Zambia on Saturday.
Namibia have lost only one of their last seven encounters with Zambia across various competitions and drew 1-1 at CHAN earlier in the year.
“I do not want to talk about winning the title at this stage, we need to talk about beating Zambia. When we went to the CHAN tournament it was always for me all about winning our first game, so that is the same now.
“We do not want to be in the Plate section, we want a repeat of 2015, but my experience tells me, as a coach, you cannot talk like a fan, you cannot just say we will win it, I am not God, I am not a witchdoctor, I am not a fortune teller, but all I can say is that we need to beat Zambia and I am positive that, looking at our record against Zambia, and if we prepare well, things will go for us and we can get the edge over them.” -Additional reporting: – Cosafa.com