24 Mar 2019 11:20am
WINDHOEK, 24 MAR (NAMPA) Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti on Saturday admitted that Zambia is way ahead of Namibia in terms of quality when it comes to international football.
Addressing the media following his sides 4-1 crushing defeat to neighbouring Zambia in a Group K African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier, Mannetti said Zambia used their superior skills to beat his team.
We did not play badly at all. We just lost to a better quality team. Had someone told me that we will lose 4-1 to Zambia by a very good team and still qualify, I would have not believed you. This was one of our best performances, football wise. The Zambians were very clinical in how they approached the 18 yard box, he added.
The two teams, he noted played exciting football as evidenced by Zambia scoring three of their goals in the box.
He however promised that Namibia will be a better team at AFCON saying the team had issues to resolve during the past week prior to the match, which he did not elaborate on.
Mannetti further pointed out that despite the current situation of football in Namibia including the intervention by the International Federation of Association Football, he was happy that those factors did not stop his team from making it.
With all these changes, the boys still came through and we are going to Egypt 2019. I am also happy that we went through a group with quality teams, he expressed.
His counterpart, Zambia stand-in coach Aggrey Chiyangi congratulated Mannetti for his qualification saying he is not disappointed that they did not qualify even after such a performance.
Things already happened. This was just a game that we were fulfilling a fixture. What is important now is for the stakeholders to know what the future holds for Zambian football, he stressed.
Namibia qualified for AFCON for only their third time in history despite losing 4-1 to Zambia and finishing level on points with Mozambique because of a better head-to-head result against the southern African counterparts, who managed to hold group leader Guinea Bissau to a 2-2 draw in Bissau on the same day.