Zambia’s individual brilliance the difference – Mannetti

Poor decision-making and Zambia’s ‘individual brilliance’ led to Namibia’s downfall in their Cosafa Cup match in Polokwane on Saturday according to coach Ricardo Mannetti.

The Brave Warriors will now face South Africa in the Plate semifinals at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

“Our idea was to win the ball higher up the field and keep Zambia in their own half, but they got out of our defensive traps with individual brilliance. So we had to go to Plan B to deny them space in our own half – we did OK with that, but our decision-making in attack was not very good and I thought we could have been calmer on the ball, we were too rushed,” he said.

Mannetti said Namibia’s momentum dropped in the final 30 minutes when they were disrupted by injuries to Panduleni Nekundi and Dynamo Fredericks.

“Over the last 30 minutes Zambia became stronger and they started to dominate the match. We were forced into making subs that we didn’t want to make – unfortunately I had to replace Kaka and then we couldn’t keep the momentum going up front to keep them under pressure.”

He said Zambia’s individual brilliance set them apart and Namibia still had a lot to learn in terms of ball skills.

“They were confident on the ball, while their passing and the way they created space set them apart. They were composed, while we were not, and we still have a lot to learn” he said.

Regarding the penalty shoot-out, Mannetti said they were well prepared, but that it did not go their way on the day.

“During training we concentrated a lot on penalties, but it just didn’t happen on the day for us. Many people say penalties are a lottery, but I don’t agree, I believe in practise, which we did, but today it did not go our way.