Ricardo Mannetti reckons Namibia’s 1-0 win over Ivory Coast on Sunday night at the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) at the Grand Stade Marrakesh gives Namibians hope as the objective remains to get out of Group B.
The Brave Warriors beat Coast 1-0 as Man of the match Charles Hambira rose at the near post to head home the winner on 90 minute from a well delivered ball from Riaan Hanamub after Itamunua Keimuine was fouled down on the right side of goal and Coach Ricardo Mannetti indicates that the victory was monumental.
“Very sentimental victory for us today against Ivory Coast because in 1998 we lost our opening game of AFCON and I was a player then and now being the coach have lead the team to victory. The win means a lot for Namibians, it gives them hope and also shocks them as we have been over the years not tactically organized and now maybe we can finally do it. The expectations keep rising for this team going forward” Mannetti explained at the post match press conference.
As the team prepares to take on Uganda in their second group game on Thursday, 18 January, coach Mannetti says the objective remains the same.
“We still want to get out of the group and reach the quarterfinals. We now relax a bit and then get back to hard work and plan for Uganda”, said Mannetti.
Mannetti also dedicated the victory to the late Zambian coach Ben Bamfuchile who guided the Brave Warriors to their second AFCON appearance in 2008.
“ Ben helped us a lot and ensured that we believe in ourselves to compete again after the last time we played in Africa in 1998 and so ten years later we are here again, continental football. So we remember him”, Mannetti said.
The Warriors will now plan for their game against Uganda on 18 January at the Grand Stade Marrakesh and conclude group stage action with a clash against neighbors Zambia on 22 January in Casablanca. The top two teams in the group will advance to the quarterfinals of the 2018 CHAN finals.
Zambia beat Uganda 3-1 to go top of group B with Namibia second, both on three points and on Thursday, Zambia wil start against Ivory Coast and Namibia will then play Uganda at 21h00 at Marrakesh.