Saturday, 8 June 2013

Namibia, Malawi warn Eagles

Super Eagles player in actionNamibia believe  they can  pull off one of the biggest upsets in African football against Nigeria in Wednesday’s Group F World Cup qualifier in Windhoek, despite having a mountain to climb if they want to qualify for Brazil 2014.
Meanwhile, Malawi have warned Nigeria not to count them out of contention for a spot on the last stage of the qualifiers.
Namibia  kept their Brazil 2014   qualification hopes alive after forcing Malawi to a barren draw in Blantyre on Wednesday to retain third place in the table with four points in four matches.
The result gave the Super Eagles, who defeated the Harambee Stars of Kenya 1-0 in the other group fixture, the opportunity to cement their place as group leaders with eight points,  leaving  Malawi in the second position with six points. There are two matches to go in the qualifiers, and the winners of the 10  groups will move to the final round where they  will be paired into five home-and-away ties.  The five teams that win their respective ties will qualify for the World Cup.
Speaking ahead of Namibia’s  clash with the Eagles on Wednesday, coach  Roger Palmgren said the Brave Warriors would be motivated by their away draw against Malawi. According to him, the result boosted the team’s confidence and the players will be out for victory over the African champions.
The former Kwara United  coach  lamented his team’s missed opportunities in the encounter, insisting that the South-East African country were better than their  Southern African opponents.
“We created more chances than Malawi. Lazarus Kaimbi and Tangeni Shipahu missed good chances. We played very well and our offensive play was great, but we could not score. I’m satisfied – but we could have done much better,” the coach said during the week.
“I believe in this team, they showed me what they are made of and we will be better prepared for Nigeria on June 12.”

Malawi caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo and captain Joseph  Kamwendo, who regretted the Namibia  draw, believe  the battle for the ticket will go to the wire.
“The odds are now in Nigeria’s favour because they have gone two points clear – but it is not over yet and we should not be counted out of contention,” Ng’onamo told Blantyre-based The Nation.
“I think the qualification will be decided up to the last game.”
Nigeria will seal their qualification for the next round of the qualifiers if they beat Nambia in Windhoek, and Malawi lose against bottom-placed  Kenya at home.
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