Namibia Take Zimbabwe Back to School… Stylishly Storm Into Cosafa Cup Quarters

A blistering performance, characterised by super team work, tenacity and a never-say-die attitude, yesterday saw the Brave Warriors cruise past a pig-headed Zimbabwean side by 4-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the Cosafa Cup, underway in South Africa.

The victory lifted Namibia to the top of Group-A and will now see the Brave Warriors aance to the last 8 where they will take on defending champions Zambia on Sunday at the Moruleng stadium in Rustenburg.

Namibia, as has become their trademark, started the match at their usual high octane pace and overwhelmed the Zimbabweans with their pressure and swiftness in the middle of the park. They were quickly rewarded when defender Chris Katjiukua made a well-timed run into the opposition’s box to connect beautifully with Stigga Ketjijere’s dipping pass and head the ball home to give Namibia a 1-0 lead within nine minutes of play.

With the Namibians having already signalled their intentions of an outright victory, the more physical Zimbabweans started moving out of their blocks to string together some great passes in midfield. They also pressed in from the wings but the scrambling Namibian defence many a time found them wanting.

As the opening half aanced, Zimbabwe continued enjoying the lion’s share of possession thanks to their physicality and high tempo from the likes of Moses Demera, Ronald Chitiyo and Danny Phiri. However, the boys from the land of the brave mounted a good defence to ensure their 1-0 lead remained intact.

After a thorough tongue-lashing from coach Ricardo Mannetti, the 2nd half saw a re-energised Brave Warriors. They built on their attractive pressing style of play, which started slowing down the physical Zimbabweans, thus creating more room for Namibia to get even further ahead.

But it wasn’t until the 60th minute that Namibia extended their lead to 2-0 after enterprising winger Deon Hotto coupled well with Itamunua Keimuine’s defence-splitting pass to quickly chip the ball over an aancing George Chigova to seal the lead.

The fast-galloping Hotto was again back in the thick of things and quickly completed his brace in the 65th minute when he buried the ball into the net with a low-angled shot through the legs of Chigova, making it Namibia 3-0 Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through Raphael Manuvire from the penalty spot after defender Dudes Mwendihanga handled the ball inside the box, but Namibia remedied the situation within less than a minute when striker Sadney Urikhob blasted home, handing Namibia a well-deserved 4-1 victory.

Source : New Era