The Namibian (Windhoek)

14 January 2013

Namibia: 'Warriors Can Improve' - Kaanjuka

THE Brave Warriors can only improve on their promising performance of Saturday night when they lost 2-1 to Morocco in a friendly encounter in Johannesburg.

This was said by Brave Warriors coach Bernard Kaanjuka, who was pleased by the performance of his team at the Rand Stadium.

Kaanjuka reckons that the Warriors are on the right course of self-discovery and the future looks good.

"We came here to play a good tactical team - they are strong and fast and gave us a good game indeed. Looking ahead to the World Cup qualifier against Malawi on March 23, we can now work on some mistakes that cost us the game, such as a lack of concentration at vital moments and the fitness of the team," he said.

"We used to lose by big scores against Morocco and now we narrowly lost 2-1 away from home. Our players are also not up to scratch because of the holidays and the break of our domestic league, but they showed that they can do better. The promise is there and the belief is still strong," Kaanjuka added.

Moroccan coach Rashid Taoussi also praised the Namibian team, saying they had a great future.

"It was a great team to play against and I would like to see Namibia in Morocco for the 2015 AFCON finals. I would also like to play one or two more friendlies in Morocco and in Namibia because they are definitely worthy opponents," he said.

MOROCCO TAKE EARLY LEAD

The Moroccans got on the score-sheet as early as the first minute through Mounir El Hamdaoui after he caught the Namibian defence napping. He found space on the far right of the goal and unleashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

The goal awakened the Namibian team who started to control possession and created some of their own chances as well.

Lazarus Kaimbi, captain Ronald Ketjijere and Petrus Shitembi always looked busy and on 10 minutes it was Shitembi's well-weighted pass that found lone striker Tangeni Shipahu, but Shipahu shot against the advancing Moroccan captain Nadir Lamyaghri in goal.

Namibia once again came close three minutes later when Kaimbi played a throughball for Shipahu who held the ball up well before laying it off for the onrushing Willy Stephanus, but he shot wide from 30 metres out.

Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko, playing at left back, had some trouble dealing with Morocco's Noureddine Amarabet who was a constant threat, while the service for Shipahu upfront dried up.

But the Brave Warriors came back to equalise shortly before halftime. First Willem Mwedihanga made an important block six minutes before the break and two minutes later Kaimbi equalised for the Warriors.

It started with an attack by Stephanus and Shitembi on a Moroccoan defender, before Kaimbi latched onto a loose ball. He passed to Shipahu, who shrugged off a defender before laying it off for Kaimbi who hit a low shot from the edge of the box to make it 1-1.

Sadney Urikhob replaced Shipahu at the start of the second half, but it was Morocco who came out firing and Virgil Vries had to make some decisive saves from the fired-up Morocco team.

Urikhob won a free-kick on the edge of the box on 68 minutes after a strong run by Kaimbi, whose subsequent free kick hit the wall and was cleared by the Moroccans.

On 73 minutes Rudolf Bester made way for Eslin Kamuhanga while Stephanus was replaced by Denzil Hoaseb and two minutes later wingback Larry Horaeb created a great chance. He put in a fine run down the right wing, played a one-two with Kaimbi, before sending in a low cross that was saved by the Moroccan keeper.

On 79 minutes Da Costa Angula received a yellow card for a tackle that was adjudged illegal by the South African referee and three minutes later, a missed pass by Angula led to Morocco's winning goal.

They immediately counter-attacked down the right wing before substitute Josef Kaddeuoi beat Vries with a cracking shot at the near post.

Tura Magic captain Neville Tjiueza came on for Petrus Shitembi with five minutes to play but it was Morocco who held on to win the match 2-1.

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