Under-17s make history with draw in Mozambique

WINDHOEK: The ‘Baby Warriors’ made history on Saturday when they became the first national teen side to at least draw away from home in six years.

The Under-17 side travelled to Mozambique last week, and on Saturday took on their local counterparts in Maputo for the qualifiers of the 2015 Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Under-17 Championship, which will be hosted in Niger.

The Baby Warriors drew one all with Mozambique.

A media statement issued by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) on Tuesday quoted team manager Jakes Amaning as saying the boys gave a good account of themselves, but could have scored more during the first leg encounter.

“It was a very promising performance from the team and we were all surprised. They showed they can compete at this level and now we have hope that for the first time in six years, we can have a team that can reach the second round of qualification at least, which is a good thing . It shows that all the hard work we are putting in can and will pay off one day,” said Amaning.

The two sides will now meet at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on 28 June, and the Baby Warriors have quite a task ahead of them as they hope to qualify for the next stage of the 2015 CAF Under-17 Championship with the away goal advantage from the first leg.

The 2015 African Under-17 Championship will be the 16th edition of the football competition organised by CAF. The tournament will now take place in Niger from 15 February to 01 March 2015, and not from 02 to 16 May 2015 as originally scheduled, with the semi-finalists to qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The U-17 World Cup takes place in Chile, South America from 17 October to 08 November.

The qualifiers are set to end on 28 September 2014 with the third round. At the end of the qualification phase, seven teams will join the hosts Niger.