Brave Warriors lose to Seychelles
NAMIBIA’S Brave Warriors have to regroup if they are to revive their interest in the African Nations Championship competition after losing 1-0 to Seychelles in their first leg tie at Mahe Island on Saturday afternoon.
The winning goal came 10 minutes after the break and although Namibia had several opportunities to draw level, they could not capitalise on them as Seychelles held on for a victory.
Namibia is ranked 111 in the world and 28 in Africa according to the latest FIFA rankings, while Seychelles are way behind at 174 in the world and 46 in Africa. It was Seychelles’ first victory in close to two years, while Namibia came back to earth with a bang after holding South Africa to a 1-1 draw in Durban on March 3.
Seychelles dominated ball possession in the first half but did not create many chances as Namibia’s defence kept them at bay. Namibia, on the other hand, struggled to make an impact on attack and only Heini Isaacks had a notable chance, but shot wide of the target.
Namibian coach Tom Saintfiet was not happy with the performance and gave the team a strong talking to at halftime. This seemed to have the desired effect as Namibia went on the attack after the restart and striker Jerome Louis got a great opportunity when he broke through Seychelles’ defence. With only the keeper to beat, Louis tried to chip the ball over his head but the keeper recovered well to save the ball.
Seychelles took the lead on 55m when their right wing broke past Nelson Geingob and beat another defender on the edge of the box before slotting the ball into the net.
Namibia pushed hard for the equaliser and created numerous chances, but to no avail.
A shot by Eslin Kamuhanga hit the crossbar while Seychelles’ keeper brought off a point blank save from a George Hummel header. Tangeni Shipahu and Heini Isaacks also had shots at goal but could not beat Seychelles’ keeper.
Seychelles now hold a valuable lead going into the second leg which takes place in Windhoek on March 27.
Saintfiet was not happy with Namibia’s performance, saying that the players failed to step up a level.
“I was very disappointed with our performance and we have a lot of work to do. I am not satisfied with the level of the league in Namibia. Some of our players need to stand up and show who the real ball players are, but this did not happen and today we could see that the foreign based professionals are at a different level,” he said.
Saintfiet said they would have to improve drastically if they hoped to beat Seychelles at home in two weeks’ time.
“Nothing is lost and I expect that we can do much better, but if we play at the same level as today, we will not win,” he said. – www.namibiasport.com.na