CORRECTION: Warriors through to Plate Final

05 Jul 2017 09:30am
CORRECTION: Correction made in third para - changes day Namibia faces South Africa to Friday

By Maqonda Ndlovu
MORULENG, 05 JUL (NAMPA) – Namibia beat Swaziland by one goal to nil on Tuesday to advance to the 2017 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Plate Final, where they will face host South Africa.
Striker Rodger Katjiteo scored the all-important goal in the 57th minute after latching on to a through ball from substitute striker Itamunua Keimuine at a cold Moruleng Stadium.
Namibia will face South Africa at the same venue on Friday in an attempt to defend the Cosafa Plate, which they won last year by beating Mozambique 1-0.
The hosts had earlier beaten Botswana 2-0 in the first semi-final of the Plate competition, which was a repeat of last year’s Cosafa Cup final in Windhoek where South Africa won 3-2.
Namibia also played better football compared to Saturday, with midfielders Wangu Gome, Captain Ronald Katjijere and ‘Man of the Match’ Deon Hoto producing a stand out performance.
Namibia could have scored more goals had it not been for the brilliance of Swazi goalkeeper Phephisani Msibi, who denied Katjiteo twice in a space of a minute.
Namibia enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and played with confidence, dominating Swaziland whose danger man and last year’s tournament top scorer, Felix Gerson Badenhorst, failed to impress.
Brave Warriors Coach Ricardo Mannetti said after the match that he was happy with the result but still felt his team can perform better.
“We won this game through a specific moment where we were attacking them with a direct approach and speed. The changes we made also gave us a different dimension to our game,” he said.
His opposite number, Peter de Jongh paid tribute to both teams, saying they played good football.
“Namibia used their experience to good effect; they took their chance well,” De Jongh said.
Mannetti made five changes to the team that lost on penalties to Lesotho last Saturday, bringing in Maximilian Mbaeva in goals, Riaan Hanamub and Ferdinand Karongee in defence.
Absalom Iimbondi and Katjiteo were the other players who made it to the team on Tuesday.