Namibia’s coach Ricardo Mannetti has assured football fans of his determination to lead the Brave Warriors past their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Group B opponents Zambia,Uganda and Ivory Coast.
Mannetti, who was speaking to the press yesterday after Friday night draw that was conducted in Rabat,Morocco for the CHAN finals to be held in from 13 January to 4 February said that despite their underdogs’ tag he will guide his boys to play to their usual strength and get the tactics right.
“We were not going to get it any easier from pot four. I expected strong teams in our group and I’m not surprised and that still leaves us with the title of underdogs which suits me and the team. It’s our first time at the CHAN finals and we will take it one game at a time”, states Mannetti.
“ If you ask me if we can be able to beat these guys I can say yes. Ivory Coast is a strong team and we will know that; Uganda has improved in recent years and have been very consistent and Zambia is a powerhouse and a strong football nation but it is possible for us to surprise them if we get the approach and tactics right as well as play to our strengths, we can beat them,” says Mannetti.
He concludes that the fixture against Zambia wil also come in handy in terms of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier match set for March when the qualifiers resumes.
Morocco heads Group A and will face Sudan, Guinea and Mauritania in Casablanca while Namibia and company will contest in Marrakech. Libya , Nigeria, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea are in Group C and will play in Tangier while in Agadir, Group D will take centre stage with Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Burkina Faso.
Namibia will open her campaign on 14 January against Ivory Coast, 16h30, and on 18 January play Uganda , 19h30, and concludes the group action on 22 January against Zambia, 19h00 in Casablanca with the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals wil be played on 27 and 28 January and the semifinals will be held on 31 January 2018. The third-place match will be on 03 February and the grand finale on 04 February 2018 at the newly refurbished Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca.