Brave Warriors beat Zambia in first CHAN qualifier

21 Jun 2015 20:30pm
WINDHOEK, 21 JUN (NAMPA) – The Brave Warriors beat Zambia’s Chipolopolo 2-1 in their first 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier in Windhoek on Sunday.
The game kicked off with few opportunities created by both teams until the 14th minute into the first half when Zambia’s Justine Zulu scored that team’s only goal.
The Warriors failed to convert the few chances they created, leaving the score sheet clean for them at half-time, while Zambia took the lead with one goal.
A change in structure from how the Namibians played in the first half saw Chipolopolo put under pressure by Willy Stephanus and Peter Shalulile.
Less than 20 minutes into the second half, a brilliant goal by Stephanus saw the Brave Warriors equalise with Zambia.
The pressure continued from the Warriors’ side, and few minutes later a pass from Ananias Gebhardt to Stephanus which eventually saw Benyamen Nenkavu grab the opportunity to score the team’s second goal.
The team however lost some focus in the midfield, creating opportunities for their opponents, but goalkeeper Charles Uirab continued to do what he is best known best for, helping the Warriors to end the game in their favour with a 2-1 victory.
Speaking to members of the media after their victory, interim coach Ronny Kanalelo said they didn’t play well in the first half as they gave Zambia a lot of opportunities.
He said there was a problem in the structure too, especially going forward with players going out of their positions, running into their teammates, stating that it was problematic because they could not keep the balance.
“In the second half we said let’s play more direct, play a positive game and keep our positions and that was the result,” he said.
Kanalelo said he is at the moment satisfied with the 2-1 victory, noting that the team cannot yet play a tactical defensive game so they have to move forward with the speed they possess.
“It is possible for us to get something out of the game in Zambia, if we play the way we played in the second half,” he said, adding that anything is possible.
Meanwhile, he said the resignation of coach Ricardo Mannetti last week is a setback for the players psychologically because he was very close to the players.
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) announced on Thursday that Mannetti is stepping down as coach of the senior national football team, three days before the encounter against Zambia.
“I hope the problems will be sorted. I think he is the right man for the national team and I hope he will come back,” he said, adding that Mannetti has come a long way with the players.
The return leg will be played in Zambia on 04 July 2015.