WINDHOEK – The Brave Warriors will face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana today at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane for their COSAFA Cup Plate semifinal match, and Namibian mentor Ricardo Mannetti has promised to throw everything available in his arsenal in the way of the South Africans.
Namibia lost 4-3 on penalties to regional rivals Zambia on Friday in the quarterfinals, while South Africa also suffered the same fate on Sunday losing 4-3 on shootouts against Madagascar – demoting both Namibia and South Africa to the plate section of the competition.
Heading into today’s plate semifinal clash, Mannetti has welcomed the challenge with open arms saying it will be a tough match, as any match between the two countries is always a derby.
“It is a derby and we all know what comes with it. The expectations are clear, both teams will go for victory and we are not afraid to go for that victory,” Mannetti said.
He said Itamunua Keimuine is likely to miss the match as he has complained about a sore hamstring.
This leaves him without his top two strikers as Keimuine joins Panduleni Nekundi, who suffered a foot injury against Zambia on Saturday.
The two strikers scored a combined 29 goals (Nekundi 15 and Keimuine 14) in the just ended 2017/18 season. This leaves him with rookie striker Willem Pinehas as the man to lead the attack.
On a positive note, Mannetti said Wangu Batista Gome has joined the camp from his club Platinum Stars.
“Wangu will definitely feature on Tuesday (today). We will train on Monday (yesterday) to finalise the preparations. We want to surprise them,” he said.
The match against South Africa is a repeat of last year’s Plate Final in Moruleng, where South Africa beat the Brave Warriors 1-0. This is the third year running that Namibia is contesting the Plate Final following their success in 2016 in Windhoek, before being runners up last year. –Adopted from Nampa