The sweet 2-0 victory for the Brave Warriors on Sunday against Comoros was by Namibians for Namibians as the team heads to Kenya 2018 African Nations Championship finals for the first time ever.
Veteran striker Muna Katupose rose from the bench to score two headed goals and seal Namibia’s qualification with a 2-0 victory and 3-2 on aggregate against a dejected Comoros and in front of an appreciative and jubilant Namibians packed into the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Mannetti reveals that he told the players last night to come to the party and he was confident of victory in the game today despite going into halftime goalless and with pressure mounting.
“ We had the away goal and for us we had a plan for anything today. This past week we planned on a lot of scenarios and I’m so proud today it worked and we are through. It is sweet victory for all of us from the fans to the players. We have qualified for Kenya", states an excited Mannetti.
Captain Ronald Ketjijere adds that while the pressure was mounting as they needed to score, he is proud of the team effort on the day and that they are finally in Kenya 2018.
“I spoke to the new boys individually last night after our team talk and calmed them down and today on the pitch things started off well because we created chances in the first half as well but the final touch was not good. In the end we scored and we are through, that’s what matters”, Ketjijere.
Muna Katupose, who scored the winner in Ethiopia in 2007 when the Brave Warriors qualified for the 2008 African Cup of Nations, replaced Itamunua Keimuine at the start of the second half and on 53 minutes headed home the opener, which was vital for qualification as well. Comoros then came out of their defensive shell but try as they may be able to not find the back of the net with Tombo Koba’s long range effort pushed away for a corner by a brilliant Edward Maova.
On 56 minutes, Katupose had another goal marginally disallowed for offside and shot have made 2-0 on 68 minutes but blasted over a fine through ball from the lively Hendrick Somaeb.
The Katupose twin was not to be denied his second goal as he again headed home from close range in additional time to all but secure qualification for the Brave Warriors and bring some relive to the football loving Namibians going forward. The match was also used to pay tribute to their late Brave Warriors number one fan Robbie Savage.
The 2018 Confederation of African Football (CAF) local-based players’ competition, the African Nations Championship (CHAN) to be played in Kenya from 11 January to 02 February.
The Confederation of African Football’s executive committee approved the proposal on Thursday at a meeting in the Moroccan capital Rabat.