28 August 2017

Namibia/Swaziland: Isaacs Satisfied After Namibia Beat Swaziland 3-2

Brave Gladiators coach Brian Isaacs expressed satisfaction with their 3-2 victory against Swaziland on Saturday, which served as preparation for the Cosafa Women's Cup in Zimbabwe next month.

After dominating the first half and leading 3-0 at the break, Namibia conceded two goals in the second half, but managed to hold on for the win and Isaacs said he was satisfied with the performance.

"It was our first game and I'm satisfied with the performance. There's a lot of technical things that we need to work on, like the defensive behaviour and the organisation in defence and midfield, but there is still time to work on that and as a coach I can rectify this," he said.

Isaacs was not too worried about Namibia's second half slump, saying he brought in a lot of new players.

"I need to see all the players because I don't know them all yet, so I brought in five new players in the second half and that disturbed the balance and the momentum we had in the first half," he said, adding that he was confident of a good performance at the Cosafa Cup.

"I don't know the other teams at the Cosafa Cup, but we have now laid a foundation, so we'll work on this and I think we will do well."

Swaziland's coach Mduduzi Nxumalo said their late arrival in Namibia had affected their performance while his team was also lacking in confidence.

"We didn't start very well, because we only arrived on Friday night so we didn't have enough rest. Overall we played very well but there are a few aspects we need to work on. Our lack of confidence is one, while we need to work on our finishing as well as our transitions from defence to attack. We can defend, but moving forward that was a bit of a challenge. We were not troubling them at the back so we need to work on that and we'll be ready for the Cosafa Cup," he said.

Namibia started like a house on fire and laid siege to Swaziland's goals in the opening exchanges but they could not get past Swaziland's goalkeeper Sukoluhle Sibandze who was in great form. She brought off some fine diving saves to deny Anna Shikusho, Vistoria Shangula, Twelikondjela Amukoto and Elmarie Fredericks, before Amukoto finally opened Namibia's account, heading a high ball into the net.

Namibia kept on attacking and Shikusho made it 2-0 when she bundled in a cross by Juliana Blou on 25 minutes, and 10 minutes later Shikusho scored her second, and Namibia's third goal with a great volley on the turn.

In the second half, Memory Ngonda came close on two occasions, while Shikusho and Uerikondjera Kasaona headed narrowly wide from corners, but Swaziland's defence held on and it was the visitors who opened their account with 15 minutes to go. Celiwe Nkambule beat the offside trap, racing on to a long through-ball and chipped the ball over Namibia's outrushing keeper Agnes Kauzuu into the net.

With three minutes to go, Swaziland won a penalty after Juliana Skrywer fouled Nkambule in the box, and Nqobile Dlamini made no mistake with the spot kick.

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