Wed. Sep 23rd, 2020

Afcon 2019: Bafana rivals talk up their Group D chances

afcon 2019Namibia have been drawn in Group D, alongside past winners South Africa,Ivory Coast and Morocco.

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Namibia are largely seen as rank outsiders at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), and their billing is not helped by being drawn in a tough Group D ahead of the tournament.

The Brave Warriors are the only nation in the group yet to hoist the big prize, and will compete against past winners in South Africa, Ivory Coast and Morocco when the tournament kicks off in Egypt on Friday.

Having made it through the tightest qualifying group to book place in the finals, coach Ricardo Mannetti is upbeat about his side’s chances in the competition.

The ex-midfielder, who turned out for former PSL outfits Santos and Bush Bucks during his playing days believes their billing underdogs will work in their favour.

“We are used to being the underdogs. It is a perfect draw for us. We are used to being in this situation where we are the underdogs,” Mannetti told CAF Online.

“If you look at the rest of the group, it is a perfect scenario for us. It is a perfect scenario for the underdogs.

“It was a very emotional last day of qualification for us. One moment you are in, the next you are out… But ultimately it was such a joy for us to qualify.

“We are not here to make numbers. We are here to compete.”

Ricardo Mannetti

Namibia finished second behind Guinea-Bissau in Group K in the qualifiers, overcoming a strong challenge from Mozambique and Zambia, with just two points separating first from last place in the group.

They begin their Afcon campaign against Morocco on the third day of the competition, before squaring off against neighbours South Africa on 28 June, followed by a clash against Morocco.

The competition’s new format – with 24 participants – means that even if they were to finish third in the group, they do stand a chance of progressing through to the next round.

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