By Rachael Ugiagbe
Coach of Namibia’s U-17 women national team, Mervin Mbakera said despite the losing 4-0 to Nigeria in the first leg – second round of the African qualifiers for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, he was happy with the fact that his team was not outplayed.
Nigerian skipper Rasheedat Ajibade scored a brace with Cynthia Aku and Efih Peace completing the rout.
Mervin Mbakera added that he is a happy man considering the fact that his team the Baby Gladiators, got the chance to play against Nigeria in the qualification campaign
“Am happy because we conceded most of our goals through individual mistakes and not the fact that we were outplayed, because individual mistakes can be worked on,” he said.
Mbakera explained that his girls were nervous in the beginning of the encounter and that the first goal was an individual mistake, the second goal was also a mistake with his team scrambling the ball in front of the goal, while the third goal was also an individual mistake.
“The nerves got the better of the girls, but we did a very good job having Jacky Shipanga as our technical adviser.
“We calmed the girls down and came down to the game plan and tactical discipline and in the second half we played the game of our lives where we made sure we closed up all the spaces and then we conceded again,” he said.
He is of the opinion that his girls are at a great advantage having tapped some experience from the Nigerian players on Saturday.
“I am happy about the team in the sense that in the first place, we got a chance to play Nigeria which is a big team and you always get vast experience from playing giants such as Nigeria.
“I think we gained huge experience and could see this in the second half as the girls started avoiding the mistakes they were making in the first half,” said Mbakera.
The team have since returned home to begin training ahead of the second leg that will be played at the Sam Nujuoma Stadium on January 22.