It all came together in Gambia draw: Mannetti

WINDHEOK: Proper planning, team’s composure and maturity led the Brave Warriors to record an all-important away 1-1 draw against Gambia on Friday night.

Namibia played its 2018 International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup preliminary round in Banjul.

With the first half ending goalless, Namibia opened the scoring in the in the 64th minute of the game through Thailand-based midfielder Willy Stephanus who scored from a free-kick which he hit with genuine precision into the back of the net.

With only seven minutes left on the game, Abdou Jammeh of Gambia scored the equalizer to deny the Brave Warriors a likely victory.

“It was a plan coming together tonight. From the earlier flights to Gambia, to the team spirit and the way the boys conducted themselves on the pitch. It was business like; we knew when to slow down the game and up the tempo and when to dominate the game at crucial times. This is our best result away from home maybe since 2011, coming to conditions like this. No one panicked and we did very well overall,” coach Ricardo Mannetti said in a statement availed to Nampa on Friday by Namibia Football Association (NFA).

Mannetti also added goalkeeper Maximillian Mbaeva kept the team into the game for most of the time.

“Denzil was rock hard and got a nasty cut to his head and was substituted which is testimony of how physical the Gambians are but our boys stood firm. Awillo’s free kick was beautiful. I’m looking forward to the game at home and we need to see this fixture through,” he stated.

The Brave Warriors had to catch a flight at 02h00am as they start their journey back home where they are expected to land on Sunday and start preparations for the return leg, which is scheduled for the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Tuesday, 13 October at 16h00.