Namibia winger Deon Hotto has hailed his side after they made history to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time following a battling 0-0 draw with Mali on Wednesday.
The Brave Warriors finished third in their Group E, enough to advance to the last-16 where they will take on COSAFA rivals Angola, a draw that will keep them dreaming of even more. “It wasn’t easy. We fought until the last minute, until the final whistle. This qualification means a lot for Namibia,” Orlando Pirates star Hotto said. “When we arrived at the match, we already knew we had a point and we were qualified.
“But we tried to have a low (defensive) block and take advantage of a few transitions. The Mali team is very strong, especially on these sides, so we played low. We contained them but we also had chances.”
Hotto says the side built confidence as the game went on, and they will take that into their clash with Angola. “It was our day. As the match went on, you could see that nothing could happen to us,” he said.
Angola and Namibia will know each other incredibly well from recent COSAFA Cup tournaments, though they have not met since 2011, and while Angola will be favourites, Namibia coach Collin Benjamin will have the plan to oust them. Their blow-out 4-0 defeat to Bafana Bafana aside, Namibia have looked solid before and during this Cup of Nations.