NAMIBIA’s men’s field hockey coach Johan Weyhe conceded that they need to be more clinical in front of goals after playing to a goalless draw against an invitation team yesterday.
The side is busy preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations finals which take place in Accra, Ghana from 17 to 23 January, and after wasting numerous scoring opportunities yesterday, Weyhe said they could not afford to be so profligate in Accra.
“I think overall Namibia has got a problem with scoring goals and we are still experiencing that, so we will have to work extremely hard. If we get one or two opportunities against Egypt or South Africa for instance, we will have to finish them off, because we might not get any more opportunities,” he said.
Weyhe, however, said the defence was getting stronger.
“I think with our defensive structure at the back, it’s not there yet, but we are getting to the point where we can play with ease and distribute the ball safely at the back,” he said.
“However, in the link line and the striking line I just feel that we lack a bit of confidence and maybe concentration, while we need to run the correct lines so that the ball can move into those lines so that we can do the damage in the goal box,” he added.
In yesterday’s encounter, the Namibian team dominated possession, but despite creating numerous opportunities they could not find the net, while the invitation team’s goalie Robin Kambanda also brought off some good saves.
In the first quarter Kambanda saved well to deny Kave Tjikuniva, while a shot by Nicolai Hilbert hit the upright.
In the second quarter a shot by Ivan Semedo went narrowly over the crossbar, while Christiaan du Raan missed a golden opportunity when he shot wide with just the goalie to beat.
The invitation team’s first real opportunity came midway through the quarter when Ronaldo Gomeb had a shot well saved.
Namibia stepped up the pressure in the third quarter, with Percy Barthram, Semedo and Josh van der Merwe creating more chances, but they could not get past an inspired Kambanda in goals, and the invitation team managed to hold on for a goalless draw in a match that was only played over three quarters.
Weyhe, meanwhile, said that the tournament will definitely go ahead.
“The tournament is definitely still on. I spoke to the tournament director Ahmed Joseph Ahmed from Egypt and he said, come what may, the tournament will take place. So we intend to leave Namibia next Friday, the 14th, when we will travel to Addis Ababa and overnight over there. We will arrive in Accra on the 15th when we will move into our hotel, where we will stay for the duration of the tournament,” he said.