The national senior women’s football team, the “Brave Gladiators”, will have a two-goal advantage on Tuesday to their return leg of the 2024 Women’s Olympic Games qualifier against Equatorial Guinea.
The Brave Gladiators outclass their opponents 2-0 in the first leg of their Olympic qualifiers at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The 2024 Women’s Olympic Games qualifiers are being used to select two teams that will represent the continent in Paris, France in 2024. The winner of the first-round ties will advance to the second round, where they will face Morocco in October this year.
In their opening match of the qualifiers on Thursday, the gladiators put up an outstanding performance, which saw their talisman, Zenatha Coleman, opening the score in the 34th minute to take the game to the half-time break with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Coleman’s brilliant play once again saw her creating an assist for Ivone Kooper, who double the score in the 52nd minute to put the Namibian outfit at an advantage ahead of their return leg in Malabo.
In an interview after the match, gladiators’ head coach, Paulus Shipanga, said playing against a team that is better than them is always a challenge but patience and dedication got them through.
“I am proud of the girls the way they played. I would have liked more goals but we need to be thankful for the ones we scored and played against players that are bigger than us in physique. You are not able to dominate them physically therefore we opted for speed which won us the game,” he said.
He added that his long-term goal is to build something for the next two or three years but with him just being an interim coach that would be difficult to execute but he will do his best to give each player a playing opportunity.
The return leg of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games qualifiers is slated for Malabo Stadium in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 18 July 2023.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency