Nam wary of Lesotho’s threat in 2017 COSAFA finals
By Melba Kaure
WINDHOEK – The Brave Warriors will have to be aware of Lesotho’s threat in their 2017 COSAFA Cup quarterfinals encounter when the regional football showpiece kicks off in Rustenburg, South Africa from 25 June to 09 July 2017.
The 2015 champions were a seeded into the quarterfinals draw of the tournament. It then emerged that Lesotho will be the obstacle Ricardo Mannetti’s side will have to over come to progress to the semifinals.
Mannetti acknowledged the threat Lesotho poses but is not moved. “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 asserts before adding that the aim of the team is to lift the trophy and will keep the eye on this year’s trophy.
“We aim to win the trophy and in order to do that, we will have to beat Lesotho to make sure we reach the semifinals and ultimately the final match. We will take it one match at a time because that is what it’s really about. You can’t play the next game before the one you have to play,” Mannetti told the media while attending the COSAFA draw in Johannesburg.
The Brave Warriors gaffer further explains that his team’s preparations will determine how they do in the match against Lesotho and the tournament at large.
“It is not much about who we are drawn against but our preparations and intensity. We have faith in our strengths and approach and we will have to perfect that and go and play our way,” said the Namibian coach.
If they do progress past Lesotho, the Brave Warriors will face the winner of Quarterfinal 1 between last year’s losing finalists Botswana and Zambia.
In Quarterfinal 3, defending champions South Africa will face winner from Group A that comprises of Tanzania, Malawi, Angola and Mauritius.
Tanzania replaces Comoros Island who withdraws from the finals. Swaziland will take on winner of Group B which is made up of Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Namibia won the 2015 edition of the annual regional tournament for the first time that was hosted by South Africa’s North West province. Namibia also hosted the COSAFA finals for the first time last year.