The experienced midfield maestro feels the Brave Warriors have learned many lessons at the continental tournament
Namibia captain Ronald Ketjijere believes Morocco are a better team than Ivory Coast after facing the two teams at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt.
The Brave Warriors bowed out of the continental tournament after succumbing to their third successive defeat in the competition when they lost 4-1 to Ivory Coast on Monday evening.
Morocco and Ivory Coast advanced to the Round of 16 after finishing in the top two positions in Group D, while South Africa and Namibia finished third and fourth respectively.
“They are two different teams in terms of how they play. But I will give it to Morocco. If Ivory Coast plays like this especially in the first half, I think they will not stand a chance against teams which have clinical strikers,” Ketjijere said.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco dominated the group as they won all of their three matches including a slim 1-0 victory over the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
“If we had scored we might have stood a better chance against them (Ivory Coast). They were off the pace and we could move the ball from one side to the other and we could penetrate and we made a couple of runs behind, but we were lacking the finishing touch,” he explained.
“We were not surprised – they are West Africans. We have played against a lot of West African teams. They are slow off the pace and we are a bit slicker and faster than them, but we did not use that to our advantage today.”
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Ketjijere and his troops frustrated the Atlas Lions in the opening match, but the North Africans were saved by Itamunua Keimune’s late own-goal which handed Morocco a narrow 1-0 win.
“They are more aggressive going forward especially the way they played against us, it is just that we were defensively organized. We made it very difficult for them we frustrated them for almost the entire 90 minutes. Because of our defence, they could not penetrate and they could not give that final product or get the ball through,” he added.
“It was difficult for them. At the end of the day, they were frustrated and they ended up taking shots from far, but it was unfortunate in the 89th minute we scored an own goal. It was the kind of lessons we have learned.
“Some of the players lacked the experience at this highest level. It was a good experience. I think they have learned a thing or two from this tournament,” he concluded.
Namibia were making their third appearance in the Afcon finals having participated in the 1998, 2008 and 2019 tournaments.