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Namibia boss Benjamin embraces underdog tag as Angola loom at Cup of Nations

Namibia head coach Collin Benjamin refused to bristle at his side's outsider status as his players from went through their final preparations on the eve of their country's first game in the knockout stages at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

"I don’t remember if Namibia ever went into any game with the odds favoring us," said the former Namibia international who spent all but three of his 16-year playing career in Germany.

"The odds would surely always go against us."

His side though have defied the pre-tournament predictions and take on Angola in a south African derby at the Stade de la Paix in Bouaké on Saturday afternoon.

"We wanted to be part of the best 16 teams in Africa and definitely we are among the best 16," the 45-year-old added. "That was a motivation in itself."

Namibia entered the tournament at 115th place in the Fifa rankings and were given little chance of competing let alone emerging from a pool containing Mali, South Africa and Tunisia.

But they created a sensation by beating the north Africans 1-0 in their opening game in Group E on 16 January.

Return

They came down to earth abruptly when South Africa spanked them 4-0 five days later but Benjamin's men recovered their poise and panache to draw 0-0 with Mali on 24 January at the Stade Lauent Pokou in San Pedro and advance with four points as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Defender Ivan Kamberipa told RFI after the game he was overwhelmed at the achievement.


Read more on RFI English

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