WINDHOEK, 15 MAY – The main focus at the moment is to beat Zambia at the upcoming Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup, national senior football team coach Ricardo Mannetti has said.
The two teams meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 edition of the annual regional competition set for Polokwane, Limpopo Province in South Africa from 27 May to 09 June.
Mannetti told Nampa on enquiry Monday his focus is not yet on the semifinals.
“We are going to play a Zambian team that was also at Chan [African Nations Championship] and we need to prepare ourselves better than them,” he said.
The coach stated that when Namibia won the Cosafa Cup in 2015, they took it one game at a time and he is going to do the same this year.
“In 2015 we wanted to get out of the group stages and we did that so this time around it’s not going to change because the most important game for us is not the final but the quarterfinal match with Zambia, because that’s the enemy we know, and we will have to put all our efforts in that match to go through to the next round,” Mannetti said.
The coach added that he will have the same approach as with the Chan this year, which is “respect football”.
“I have learned through winning the Cosafa Cup and the Plate final that one should be respectful of football, and I am not going to change. Other coaches have a different way of approaching this tournament, but I take a good squad that will compete without undermining their opponents,” said Mannetti.
Since 1992 to date, Namibia and Zambia have played 17 times, with Namibia only winning four of those encounters and drawing six times.
In their last two encounters, Namibia beat Zambia 1-0 at Cosafa here in June 2016 and played to a one-all stalemate at Chan in January this year.