Brave Warriors tame Indomitable Lions in AFCON qualifier with historic 2-1 victory
By Adolf Kaure.
The senior men’s soccer team, with the nom de guerre, the Brave Warriors, defeated five-time African champions, Cameroon by a 2-1 scoreline during a Group C African Cup of Nations (AFCON), qualifier which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday.
Namibia took the lead through Mamelodi Sundowns striker, Peter Shalulile’s tapped in a rebound after 55 minutes, before Absalom Iimbondi doubled their lead with a free-kick on 79 minutes.
Despite Vincent Aboubakar pulling a goal back for the “Indomitable Lions” in stoppage time, it was enough for Namibia to take all three points.
The win moved the Brave Warriors to the top of Group C with 5 points, followed by Cameroon (4 points) and Burundi (1 point).
“We started the game very well. We had the structure and we did not let them have any chances.”
“Through the tenacity and determination of the players, we got into the lead. We then got the second (goal) and I think there were chances for us to get a third one as well.”
“They believed that they could win and they had the confidence to get the result. “I am proud of the players and I am proud to be Namibian,” said head coach Colin Benjamin during a post-match interview.
He further expressed his gratitude to the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Normalising Committee for ensuring that domestic football returned, saying it helped boost the fitness of the players.
Namibia remains unbeaten against Cameroon, having drawn 1-1 in Yaounde, Cameroon in their previous match last Friday.
The Brave Warriors will be on their travels to battle Burundi in their final qualifying match on 12 June in Gitega, while Cameroon’s last match of the group will be at home as they also welcome Burundi on 4 September in Yaounde.
With no team yet mathematically guaranteed qualification, it will be the top two nations that will qualify for the 2023 AFCON.
The 2023 AFCON was scheduled to take place this year in Ivory Coast. However, the showpiece has been rescheduled to January 2024.