It’s possible to surprise them – Mannetti on CHAN finals draw
Brave Warriors can beat their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Group B opponents if they play to their strength and get the tactics right despite their ‘underdog’ tag against Zambia Uganda and Ivory Coast.
On Friday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Rabat, Morocco, conducted the draw for the CHAN finals to be held in Morocco from 13 January to 4 February and Namibia find themselves in Group B with Zambia, Ivory Coast and Uganda.
Coach Ricardo Mannetti is looking forward to the challenge ahead. “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.
The Cosafa title-winning coach assesses his Group B opponents like this: “If you ask me if we can beat these guys, I can say yes. Ivory Coast is a strong team and we will know that; Uganda haves 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
He concludes that the fixture against Zambia will also come in handy in terms of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier match set for March 2018 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 their campaign on 14 January against Ivory Coast, on 18 January they play Uganda , 19h30, and conclude group action on 22 January against Zambiain Casablanca. The top two teams from the groups advance to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals will be played on 27 and 28 January and the semifinals will be held on 31 January 2018.
The third-place match will be played on 3 February and the grand finale on 4 February 2018 at the newly refurbished Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca. – www.nfa.org.na