Brave Warriors a step closer to 2019 AFCON finals

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Windhoek – Namibia’s senior national football team, Brave Warriors put a foot in the right direction in realising their dream of competing at the 2019 Confederation of African Football (CAF), Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Brave Warriors beat the Mambas of Mozambique 1-0 in their clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday night. 

Peter Shalulile scored the only goal of the match in the 73rd minute to hand the Namibians the much-needed victory over Mozambique. The win now puts them levelled on seven points with Guinea-Bissau but second in Group K.

This was the second time that Namibia played Mozambique in the space of four days. Their first group encounter was in Maputo on Saturday and Namibia registered their first group win when they beat their opponents 2-1.

On Tuesday here, the Namibian boys found the going tough in the opening minutes of the match but individual brilliance saw them knocking at Mozambique’s goal post despite a goalless first half.

In the second half, coach Ricardo Mannetti rang the changes and brought in Deon Hotto for Absalom Iimbondi, which saw the game-changing as Namibia started having more ball possession.

With the home team having more possession, Willy Stephanus, who brought his A-game, gave an assist to Shalulile who made no mistake as he rattled the net to send the Namibian fans, national players and the bench into wild celebration.

Just minutes after taking the lead, Namibian defender Denzil Haoseb was given his marching orders in the 87th minute when he received a second yellow card for time-wasting. Defender Charles Hambira came on for Petrus Shitembi to boost the defence for the remaining minutes of the match. 

After the game, Mannetti praised the fans and players for the support on the day and throughout the journey thus far.

“It has been a tough three months and this victory is for all the Namibians. It was not easy training for the past three months without a league and I am proud of what the boys did today as they came to the table and delivered,” Mannetti said.

The Brave Warriors will face Guinea Bissau between 12 and 20 November 2018 before they visit Zambia in March 2019. 

Mozambique and Zambia are levelled on four points each and will face each other next month in Maputo.

The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total Africa Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon from 15 June to 13 July 2019. - Nampa

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