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Prince Tjiueza the early star of COSAFA U-17 Cup

Namibian fans may find it hard to keep their feet on the ground after they began their COSAFA U-17 Cup campaign with an emphatic 8-3 victory over Seychelles on Thursday.

However, in Prince Tjiueza, the Baby Warriors boast the outstanding individual of the competition so far, and a player who has the quality to fire the Namibians to the title.

Regardless of the young forward's class in his four-goal display in the evisceration of the Seychelles, this bout was a long time coming for a Namibia side who appeared keen to make a statement in their tournament opener.

After winning the title in 2016, a lack of funds meant they were unable to defend their crown, and they now have the opportunity to re-establish themselves as the regional giants at this level.

They certainly did that with an 8-3 triumph that represented their biggest winning margin in a COSAFA competition - it also sets them up as favourites to clinch the title and secure a spot at the 2019 U-17 African Cup of Nations in Tanzania.

Coach Paul Malembu was keen to downplay his side's chances after their opening victory, but the performance of Tjiueza cannot help but fuel title talk.

"We are not seeing the semi-finals yet. We need to prepare for the next game, and that will be against the hosts. Then, we can see how far the semi-finals are," Malembu told the NFA website.

"The boys need to understand that they are here to enjoy themselves, and no pressure should be placed on them to reach the next round. In football, once you win, you can't get to the next round automatically, and that you can only do by being yourself and playing your game."

Tyrin George netted a hat-trick for the Warriors, with his fifth making it 5-3 to the Namibians as they pulled away following an unconvincing first half in which the two sides traded blows.

Man of the Match Tjieuza was influential as Namibia took the contest away from the islanders.

It had been his goal which had given the Warriors the 4-3 advantage late in the first half, and he came into his own during the final 20 minutes, adding three more as the Seychelles tired.

His speed, boldness in possession and fearless when faced with opposition defenders stood out at this level, and established the youngster as the most impressive player to have showcased his qualities in Mauritius so far.

The win takes Namibia to top spot in Group A after one match, level on points with Botswana, who defeated the hosts 1-0 in their opener on Thursday.

The Baby Warriors meet Mauritius in their second group game later on Saturday, while Botswana will expect to eliminate the Seychelles from the running when they clash in Port Louis.

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