Gladiators have the character to upset Nigeria – Mbakera

By Rachael Ugiagbe


Head coach of the Namibia U-17 women national team, Mervin Mbakera says his team possess the character that can help them fight for a convincing result when they take on Nigeria.

The Baby Gladiators will play host to Nigeria’s Flamingos in the return leg of the second round of the African qualifiers for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, having lost the first leg 4-0 a fortnight ago in Abuja.

Speaking after his side lost 6-0 to the Namibia Senior Women’s national team( the Brave Gladiators) in a practice match played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, coach Mbakera believes his team can improve and hold their own against their visitors.

“When we played in Nigeria it was not an easy game but after the halftime talk, our girls came back strongly and displayed great character that they have to fight and they did their best until midway the second half when our defender controlled the ball but was overpowered by the Nigeria captain who scored the fourth goal for us to lose.

“But in the end it was promising for us that we can hold our own against a team of Nigeria’s caliber”, Mbakera notes.

Ahead of the return leg on Friday, Mbakera maintains that it remains a privilege for his charges to play Nigeria and going forward the experience will be invaluable.

“It is a privilege to play the Nigerians. They can overpower us because of their physical strengths that give them a greater advantage but we can get there. Our team has character and that is very important”, Mbakera states.

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