29 Mar 2016 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) Senegal is hot favourite to finish top of Group K, but Namibia aims to have a respectable standing in the group, says Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti.
The senior national football team will play against Burundi in its return leg of the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday at 17h00.
Namibia beat Burundi 3-1 in Bujumbura on Saturday to collect its first points in the group stages.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, Mannetti said he was happy with the way his team played in Bujumbura and is looking forward to replicating the same performance when they step onto the field on Tuesday afternoon.
I am not underestimating our opponents because at the moment there is no easy team in Africa, but the time has come for Namibia to start making a mark in African football and we must stop making excuses when things dont go our way, he said.
The coach added that credit should be given to his first choice goalkeeper Maximillan Mbaeva, who made crucial saves during the teams clash with Burundi in Bujumbura.
Sometimes credit should be given to an individual player if he makes the difference on the day. Max kept us in the game with his brilliant saves on Saturday, because when Burundi was supposed to score he kept them out and we scored our goals and he continued with his brilliant saves.
Max was the man of the match on that day for me, because his performance motivated his teammates, stated Mannetti.
Going into the return leg with Burundi, Namibia is second in the group, but level on three points with Burundi (third) and Niger (fourth). Senegal leads the group with nine points from three games played thus far.
Namibia is drawn in Group K with Niger, Senegal and Burundi.
The Brave Warriors lost their two opening games of the group stages with a 0-1 defeat by Niger in June 2015, and then a 0-2 loss against Senegal at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in September.
The 2017 Afcon is set for Gabon in January.
Tickets for that match are available at Computicket for N.dollars 40 each.