|Namibia were COSAFA Castle Cup champions in 2015...|
Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti says the Brave Warriors are looking forward to the challenge of facing Lesotho in the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup. The draw for this year’s competition was conducted two weeks ago and the sides will face-off in the quarterfinals.
Asked about the draw, Ricardo Mannetti was buoyant. He said Namibia respects Lesotho but is aiming to go all the way to the final and championship glory.
“I know Lesotho very well; they play positive football with a lot of energy. We will have to control those qualities which I think we are capable of doing,” Mannetti said.
Mannetti said Namibia’s main objective was to win to the regional showpiece, a feat they achieved for the first time in 2015 when the COSAFA Castle Cup was last hosted in South Africa.
“We aim to win the trophy and in order to do so we will have to beat Lesotho to reach the semi-finals, and ultimately the final,” he said. “But, we will take it one game at a time, because that’s what it’s all about. You can’t play the next game, before the one you have to play,” he said.
According to Mannetti, the Brave Warriors’ preparations will ultimately be more important than the opponents they will face.
“It is not much about whom we are drawn against, but rather our preparations and intensity. We have faith in our strengths and approach and we will have to perfect that and play our own way,” he said.
As in the previous three tournaments, the quarterfinal losers will contest the Plate competition.
However, for the winner of the match between Lesotho and Namibia the prospect of a Cup semi-final and final will await. In the semi-finals the two teams will either face Swaziland or the winner of Group B.
COSAFA Castle Cup draw:
Group A: Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Malawi
Group B: Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles
Match 13: Botswana v Zambia (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Match 14: Namibia v Lesotho (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Match 15: South Africa v Group A winner (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Match 16: Swaziland v Group B winner (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Winner of Match 13 v Winner of Match 15
Winner of Match 14 v Winner of Match 16