Brave Warriors sharpen for Crocodiles 

Aprocius Petrus of Namibia challenged by Bernardo Silva Da Conceicao and Domingos Paulo Andreade of Angola during the 2024 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Mens Championship match between Angola and Namibia at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Gqeberha on the 28 June 2024. BackpagePix

Collin Benjamin wants the Brave Warriors to add a cutting edge to their game when they take on Lesotho in their 2024 Cosafa Cup clash today.

Namibia played to a goalless Group C stalemate against neighbour Angola in their opener on Friday, with last year’s beaten finalists Lesotho joint top of the group following a 1-1 scoreline against Seychelles the same day.

Benjamin feels his rookie-laden team did well but should have been better in front of goal as the much-anticipated clash between Palancas Negras and the Brave Warriors failed to produce a goal despite the best efforts of both sides.

He wants his attack to complement the solid defence which kept the tricky Angolan forwards at arms-length.

“We did hadfa few chances where we got into the last third of our opponents and I think a bit of our technique let us down. But these are things that we have to work on,” Benjamin says of the spurned scoring opportunities.

“In the end, I think the 0-0 draw was a balanced result. In that regard, we’re not going to be greedy and we will take that point,” he says.

Namibia need to beat Lesotho to strengthen their claim for a top finish and spot in the semi-finals, as three-time Cosafa champions Angola is expected to overcome Seychelles, who ended a run of seven successive losses in the competition dating back to 2019 with the impressive Lesotho draw.

“It’s always good to start a tournament not on the losing foot. We all know that Lesotho play a very fast-passing technical game. In that regard, we’re going to have these two days where we’re going to do an analysis on how we played, where we can improve or where we should improve, because we definitely have to improve in some areas,” Benjamin notes.

“Then, we’ll look at them and see what weaknesses they showed on that day that we probably can exploit. But all in all, I think it’s definitely going to be an exciting game. Also for us, we’re going to go in with full power and full energy,” he says.

Lesotho coach Leslie Nots’i says his side intends to contest the final again this year, which makes every remaining match a must win.

The Seychelles result was a wake up call for his Likuena (Crocodiles) to double their efforts to realise that lofty ambition, he adds.

“The idea is to secure qualification into the next round. We believe we have what it takes to qualify for the next stage and go to the final again,” Nots’i says of the ambition.

Jane Thabantso, who holds the record for the fastest goal in Cosafa Cup history after 34 seconds against Mauritius in 2016, netted the opener for Lesotho on 19 minutes.

But Lesotho could not hold on and Seychelles found an equaliser midway through the second half via Lorenzo Hoareau to earn themselves a point.

“The draw does not mean it’s the end for us, it just means we must come back stronger to see to it that in our second match we secure maximum points, which is not going to be easy. The next game is going to be a different ball game from today [Friday]. So, our approach is going to be different and even the personnel is going to change,” says Nots’i.

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