Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
History-maker Warriors score first-ever AFCON win – on to Bafana on Sunday
By Adolf Kaure.
After a heroic display that saw the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors defeat one of the pre-tournament favourites, Tunisia in their opening 2023 TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations (AFCON) match in the Ivory Coast, the players are ready to prove that it was no fluke.
Namibia made history by defeating 2004 AFCON champions Tunisia with a solitary goal scored by Orlando Pirates winger Deon Hotto in the dying minutes of the Group E duel played on Tuesday in Korhogo, Ivory Coast.
It was the first time Namibia had won a match at the tournament having participated in 1998, 2008 and 2019 without registering a win.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Namibia’s Head Coach said that despite it being a shocking result to many in the footballing world, it was not surprising to him.
“You have to understand that what happened yesterday is something that we are used to. We were never really given a chance and what we can do sitting here, we can’t also talk a lot.”
“All we can do is go onto the field and we are just happy that on the fourth day after this African Cup Nations started that we onto the field and just live our lives,” said Benjamin adding that AFCON provides an opportunity for the players to showcase their talent and market it to the many international clubs as the world watches.
“They are footballers and they are hungry players and they need the platform. Some of the players need this platform to take the next step in their careers and some of them need to start their career. So, it is more than just soccer and to a certain extend it is life and it is life changing,” he said.
The Head Coach further said that the players got straight back to training after their win against Tunisia as they cannot afford to sit on their laurels. “We continue, on Tuesday celebrated and on Wednesday from 8 A.M, some were in the gym and some will be on the field grinding and working,” Benjamin said.
Namibia occupies second place in Group E having scored a goal less than Mali, who defeated 1996 champions, South Africa 2-0 in the other Group E match which also took place on Tuesday.
Reeling from their defeat, South Africa wants to get back to winning, however Namibia has more history to make as they have never qualified for the second round of the competition.
A win for the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors over their southern African neighbours, would see them progress out of the group, while a defeat for Bafana Bafana would virtually mean booking an early flight back home.
The action starts will start at 22:00 (Namibian Time) from the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo, Ivory Coast on Sunday.