Pictured: Namibians getting ready to watch the ‘do or die’ match against Bafana Bafana. Photos: Contributed
AS Namibia narrows in on its second game in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the phrase ‘do or die’ has never been so real as the Brave Warriors stands before a test that might see them victorious over South Africa.
The Southern African derby as it is rightfully called derives from almost 20 years ago when South Africa’s rising international star at the time, Benedict McCarthy put four goals past Namibian Goalie, Ronnie Kanalelo, giving Namibian a humiliating debut run at the 1998 AFCON, although they managed a consolation goal on the night.
Years later, the rivalry was re-ignited as Namibia finds themselves in the group of death against neighbors South Africa, Morocco and Ivory Coast.
Tonight’s game is equally important for both teams as they went down to a one-goal win in their first game against Morocco and Ivory Coast respectively.
Namibia’s head Coach Ricardo Mannnetti at this week’s press conference in Egypt said that the pressure is on South Africa and Namibia will do all they can to get their first win and to progress to the last 16.
“We come into the match with positives from the Morrocco game and we need to compete and get the result we want. It’s not about the next round but the first win for the country and then anything can happen”, Mannetti stated.
The coach added that the familiarity of the players would also weigh in the outcome of the match.
“The players are very close and some have met so many times before and so that will be interesting. This is our moment to enjoy and make memories and we grab this chance to play against the best on the continent. This is our world cup,” said Mannetti.
In other games of the night, Tunisia will square off against Mali followed by Morocco against Ivory Coast.