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‘Schoolboys’ Namibia not ready for AFCON

Ricardo Mannetti was unimpressed with the nature of Namibia’s third successive defeat © AFP / Khaled DESOUKI

CAIRO, Egypt, Jul 1Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti conceded his team were “not good enough” to compete at the Africa Cup of Nations after their campaign ended with a 4-1 defeat by Ivory Coast on Monday.

Drawn in the toughest section of the competition alongside the 2015 champions, Morocco and neighbours South Africa, Namibia’s first finals appearance since 2008 saw them exit without a point from three matches.

“Our best is not good enough. We had at one stage the best players on the pitch, technically gifted … I think we still have a long way to go. It’s not good enough at all for this level,” said Mannetti.

“We cannot lose concentration, make silly mistakes, high school errors, and obviously against a team like Ivory Coast you will get punished.”

Max Gradel’s first-half effort and a Ryan Nyambe own goal put Ivory Coast 2-0 ahead in Cairo and although Joslin Kamatuka pulled one back for Namibia, late goals from Wilfried Zaha and Maxwel Cornet ensured the Elephants finished second in Group D.

“I think there was a stage where we made Ivory Coast look very, very average, and then there was a stage where Ivory Coast made us look like schoolboys. How do you get those two contrasting things in one game? As far as I’m concerned, it’s just immaturity from our side,” said Mannetti.

“We have to improve our quality levels.”

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