19 January 2018

Namibia/Uganda: Namibia Reach Knockout Stages After Nekundi's Injury Time Winner

An injury time goal by Panduleni Nekundi gave the Brave Warriors a stunning 1-0 victory against 10-man Uganda and ensured their passage to the quarterfinals of the Chan 2018 tournament in Marrakesh on Thursday night.

Like their 1-0 victory against Ivory Coast on Sunday, Namibia left it late, with Nekundi scoring the winner two minutes into injury time - the exact same time that Charles Hambira had scored the winner against Ivory Coast - to snatch their second win of the tournament.

Zambia, who beat Ivory Coast 2-0 earlier top the group on six points, just above Namibia on goal difference, and with Uganda and Ivory Coast both on zero points, the two southern African teams have now booked their passage to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Uganda had most of the possession and chances in a physical and uncompromising match, but Namibia kept them at bay with some superb defending, especially by goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua who pulled off some stunning saves.

Uganda peppered Namibia's goal area with long, high balls in the early stages, but Namibia's defence stood firm and the first real chance of the match went to the Brave Warriors on 33 minutes.

Striker Hendrik Somaeb rushed onto a long upfield clearance and chipped the ball over Uganda's outrushing keeper only to see the ball skim over the crossbar.

Four minutes later Uganda had a great chance when Muzamiru Mutyaba broke into the box, but Ferdinand Karongee brought off a great tackle to dispossess him.

Uganda piled on the pressure in the second half and Namibian keeper Kazapua pulled off a point blank save to deny Derrick Nsibambi early on.

The Cranes had two more great chances within two minutes, as Nsibambi's shot from an acute angle went narrowly wide, while Kazapua once again pulled off a diving save to tip away a scorching shot by Nico Wadada.

The match swung Namibia's way on 74 minutes when Uganda were reduced to 10 players after defender Dennis Awany got a second yellow card for a foul on Nekundi.

With eight minutes to go, Nekundi missed a great chance when he volleyed straight at Uganda's keeper, Benjamin Ochan, but as the match went into injury time, he got a second chance and this time made no mistake.

He broke free of his defender at the far post and after receiving a pass from Itamunua Keimuine, blasted the ball high into the net to give Ochan no chance.

Namibian keeper Kazapua was a deserved winner of the man of the match award.


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