14 November 2017

Namibia: Young Gladiators Upstage Seniors

Namibia's U20 Young Gladiators team beat the senior Brave Gladiators 1-0 in a football friendly on Saturday.

The match served as a curtain raiser for the Dr Hage Geingob Cup final between Namibia and Zimbabwe at the Sam Nujoma Stadium and the two sides provided a fine spectacle despite the hot and sultry conditions.

Helena Shuumba scored the winning goal after about 15 minutes when she rounded off a counterattack down the left wing and pounced onto a poor clearance by Esti Amukwaya to score.

The Brave Gladiators had more chances in the second half, but Young Gladiators keeper Melissa Matheus was in fine form, bringing off two excellent saves against Twelikondjela Amukoto and Marney Tjauha.

Despite the result, the NFA's director of women's football, Jackey Gertze it was to be expected.

"Most of the key national players were not playing, while the coach used the opportunity to see some of his substitutes in action. Players like Mammie Kasaona, Stacy Naris and Lorraine Jossop were not playing, while Zenatha Coleman and Anouschka Kordom are still playing abroad," she said.

"Besides that, the u20's are much fitter at this stage because they train all year around at the NFA Girls Centre, while the seniors only had a few training sessions before the match," she said.

"We have 15 u20 girls who are accommodated at the Girls Centre where they receive vocational and healthy lifestyle training, home work tutoring and soccer training," she added.

Gertze said the match will help prepare Namibia for their upcoming 2018 Afcon qualifying match against Zimbabwe, with the first leg match due to take place in Namibia on 26 January 2018.

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