16 October 2018

Namibia/Mozambique: Shalulile Takes Namibia Closer to Afcon 2019

Photo: allafrica.com
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Peter Shalulile struck on 73 minutes to hand the Brave Warriors a much-needed 1-0 victory over Mozambique on Tuesday night, taking Namibia to seven points, and second in Group K of the qualification for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group K qualifier.

It was Namibia's second victory against Mozambique in four days after they beat them 2-1 in Maputo on Saturday.

Shalulile controlled a fine cross from Willy Stephanus and emphatically dispatched it into the back of the net to send the home fans into raptures after a frustrating evening.

Namibians came out in numbers to support their beloved Brave Warriors following their heroics on Saturday in Maputo and just as it was the case then, Mozambique had the better of the ball and created more chances to score, winning three corners inside the opening six minutes, while the Warriors looked for counters that failed to sparkle.

Deon Hotto replaced Absalom Iimbondi at halftime and took up the left side of midfield while Willy Stephanus returning to the right as Petrus Shitembi, captain Ronald Ketjijere and Sadney Urikhob continued to hold their own against the physical Mozambicans.

And as it seemed like the two sides would play out for a draw, Stephanus ran down the flank and delivered a pitch perfect cross onto the chest of Shalulile who shrugged off a defender before unleashing a right footer into the net past Leonel Pendula.

Namibia were dealt a heavy blow on 87 minutes when the impressive Denzil Haoseb received his second yellow card and his marching orders for apparent time wasting. Defender Charles Hambira came on for Shitembi to close shop in the five minutes of extra time.

An emotional Ricardo Mannetti praised the fans and players for the conduct on the day and throughout their journey thus far.

"We have not qualified yet but have done ourselves proud today. The players have shown that they deserve to be respected and they really have risen up. The fans today were fantastic and we now need to produce the same result against Guinea Bissau next month and get to the ten points which is our target to qualify," he said.

Namibia now have seven points, equal with Guinea Bissau while Mozambique and Zambia are on four points each ahead of facing each other next month in Maputo.

The final home game for the Brave Warriors will be against Guinea Bissau between 12-20 November before they visit Zambia in March 2019. The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon from 15 June to 13 July 2019.

The Brave Warriors starting lineup vs Mozambique: Virgil Vries, Tiberius Lombard, Denzil Haoseb, Riaan Hananub, Ananias Gebhardt, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus, Sadney Urikhob and Peter Shalulile. - nfa.org.na

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