Namibia U23 face China on Monday

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The Namibia Under23s will be underdogs on Monday night as they face China at the Wanzhou Pailou Sports Stadium in the China Football Association (CFA) Team China International Football Match 2018 with nothing to lose.

Addressing the media on Sunday afternoon before their practice session at the venue, coach Timo Tjongarero and captain Pandeni Kandjabanga says the mystery between the two sides will be solved on Monday, 13h35 Namibian time, and 19h35 in China as the two sides prepare for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers later this year.

“We have a very good team and the idea is to test our players against the unknown of China tomorrow. We know they have a coach from Italy and they will play certain style of play that we can try to contain. We also have our own style of play and we have to make sure we impose that on the opposition to do well. It will be ninety minutes and we have to concreate at all times and make sure we surprise the opponent.

They don’t know us and we don’t know them and that mystery will be solved after the match. The conditions are not ideal for us, not used to the wet and hot weather, but we have to adapt and do our very best” says Tjongarero.

Captain Kandjabanga echoes his coach comments: “We came here to leave a mark and we will do our best against the opposition. We believe in ourselves and we have to play well and do well”.

Chinese coach, the Italian Massimiliano Maddoloni who is the assistant to the senior national team coach another Italian Marcelo Lippi, met his boys from for the first time and they have six players from the senior team.

“Namibia team is very good. Physical team and speedy and it will be an easy game. We have these new six players that comes in and we will try to have the same synergy in the team”, says Maddoloni.

Ahead of the match, the hype resembles one of a world cup qualifier as training session are closed and media attention is huge. About 18 000 are expected to fill the Stadium and the stadium capacity is 26 000.

Namibia has to start that Olympic dream by negotiating past the continental hopefuls with seven spots available for the eight-team tournament to be held in Egypt by November and December 2019. The tournament in Egypt in 2019 will see the top three teams qualifying automatically for the Olympic Games. The fourth-place finisher plays in a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation. Nigeria are the defending champions.

The following 20 players are in China: Kauua Wisely, Tsandib Baloyi, Kamati Petrus, Petrus Aprocius, Abel Paulus, Kambato Uetuuru, Nauseb Giovanni, Kandjabanga Pandeni, Shikongo Israel, Mingeri Hubert, Kasume Romeo, Kham Anthony, Hawiseb Romario, Haukongo Lubeni, Spiegel Calvin, Festus Rivaldo, //Eib Kennedy, Neibeb Brandon, Naweseb McCartney and Katjivena Hiha.