Malkia Strikers’ quest to reclaim the Africa Nations Championship title they lost to Cameroon two years ago is well on course after they made it to the semi-finals of the ongoing competition on Wednesday night.
Malkia, under the tutelage of FIVB-attached tactician Shailen Ramdoo, picked 3-0 wins against Algeria (25-19, 25-21, 25-21) and Botswana (25-16, 25-18, 25-11) to qualify for the semis with a match to spare against holders Cameroon which was played last night.
Ramdoo was impressed with Pool B, having more teams, saying playing more matches in the group phase gives them an edge in the semi-finals.
“We had quality competition from the pool which was balanced thus presenting different challenges for the players. Having Cameroon in the same pool was also favourable as we were not thinking about the semis or the finals and concentrated on winning all our group stage matches,” said Ramdoo.
“We had a better match against Botswana with good rhythm. We also got a chance to rest some players ahead of the semis,” he added.
The team’s technical director David Lung’aho was also impressed by their performance against Botswana and was hoping for victory against the holders.
“We did not play to our abilities against Algeria despite the win. They are strong and stubborn and they prepared us for what to expect as we advanced in the competition,” said Lung’aho.
After the Egypt assignment, the team will head to Italy where they will take on the Netherlands, the hosts and Belgium from August 2-4 in Pool F of the Intercontinental tournament that is a qualifying competition for the 2020 Olympics.