Namibia: Skipper Calls for Ruthless Warriors

The Brave Warriors must be clinical against Madagascar at home on Saturday or risk losing out on a spot at next year's African Nations Championship, captain Dynamo Fredericks says.

A misfiring Namibia were stunned 1-0 by the Barea in the last minute of the away leg on 22 September. Fredericks, like assistant coach Woody Jacobs, vowed that the naïve performance in Antananarivo will not enjoy a sequel.

"Physically, we are prepared, and the spirit in the team is very high. I think the nation can expect a positive result," Fredericks, who is nursing a knock to the knee sustained at the weekend, told The Namibian Sport on Monday.

Madagascan football is on a high at the moment, as the Indian Ocean island continues riding on the enthusiasm following their recent fairytale run to the African Nations Cup quarter-finals in Egypt.

The Malagasy edged the Mambas of Mozambique on the away goals rule, following a 3-3 tie in the preliminary round, before securing a narrow first-leg advantage over the Brave Warriors.

"We gave them a good run for their money. We created a lot of chances; they only created one chance, and they put it away. We were the better team, but we did not take our chances as we could have won the game," Fredericks recalled.

"This time, we must have some composure in front of goal, and when we have the chance, we must finish it off."

In the continued absence of competitive football in the country, the Brave Warriors have supplemented preparations with the odd warm-up match against ragtag invitational teams.

Last weekend saw them play Hardap and Karas regional teams at Mariental, registering 4-1 and 2-1 wins.

"It's quite tough in terms of match fitness. It hampers preparations, but overall the boys are in good physical condition. Everybody got a runout. It really helped us with some game time. All is well," noted Jacobs.

He believes the current crop can emulate the 2018 class, and make it back-to-back continental tournament appearances for Namibia.

"It's a big match for the team because we are on the brink of qualification, even though we are a goal down against Madagascar.

"It's not something the team will not be able to overcome. We have a talented bunch of players, and we believe in their abilities. Come Saturday, the team will be ready to overturn the deficit," he declared.

"We've analysed them well in their matches against Mozambique, and the first leg with us. It was a bitter pill to swallow to concede in the manner and time that we did. But it's something that has passed, and we know what to expect from Madagascar. Now, we have to up our game and do better on home soil."

Jacobs assured action-starved supporters that they need not fear, and should look forward to the Brave Warriors shining a light on the gloomy football landscape.

"If you look at the record of the Brave Warriors at Sam Nujoma Stadium, it's where we don't lose many matches, and we play quality football. We know that the boys will rise to the occasion on Saturday. The boys know what is expected of them, what we [technical team] expect from them, and what the nation expects," he said.

"The Namibian football fan needs these types of situations where we qualify for tournaments, despite our football not being active at the moment.

"It's a big one, and we expect the fans to fill up the stadium and paint it red. We can tell you that we will be up to the task and put up a show on Saturday because they deserve the best."

Also, the Brave Warriors tend to play their best football when their backs are against the well, he continued.

"It will always bring pressure. But the majority of them were not there, and are relatively new to the set-up. It's a challenge for them to give a good account of themselves and write their names in the history books of Namibia," Jacobs said.

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