Goalkeeper Edward Maova has been ruled out of the Brave Warriors clash against Zambia on Saturday with a concussion, head coach Ricardo Mannetti said on Monday.
Maova suffered the injury during his South African club AmaTuks' National First Division match against Ubuntu Cape Town FC, which ended in a one-all stalemate, leaving Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva and Loydt Kazapua to fight for the coveted spot between the posts.
While the keeper pulled out of the Brave Warriors full training camp which started in Pretoria yesterday, Mannetti welcomed three fired-up foreign-based attackers in Sadney Urikhob, Benson Shilongo and Itamunua Keimuine to the fold. They join their home-based counterparts, who jetted out on Sunday to set up base in South Africa as preparations intensified.
Mannetti reiterated the team's objective, saying they need to get a result in Zambia, and not depend on the outcome of Guinea Bissau's home match against Mozambique.
Guinea Bissau and Namibia are top of Group K on eight points each, with Mozambique in third place on seven points. Zambia are on four points and out of the running for a place for Egypt 2019.
A draw in either Group K match will guarantee progression to the finals for Namibia and Guinea Bissau during the off-season, while Mozambique need to win to snatch one of two automatic qualification spots.
So long as Mozambique fails to beat Guinea Bissau, Namibia will advance to the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, even if they fall to Zambia.
"We are in charge of our destiny, and we have to do it ourselves. We cannot rely on results elsewhere. Saturday is our defining moment, and Egypt 2019 is around the corner," Mannetti told nfa.org.na.
Four players will be dropped before the team travels to Zambia on Thursday ahead of the crunch showdown inside Lusaka's Heroes National Stadium.
The Brave Warriors squad in training is as follows: Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva, Loydt Kazapua, Petrus Shitembi, Tiberius Lombard, Ananias Gebhardt, Willy Stephanus, Denzil Haoseb, Peter Shalulile, Marcel Papama, Riaan !Hanamub, Dynamo Fredericks, Emilio Martin, Ronald Ketjijere, Benson Shilongo, Ivan Kamberipa, Edmund Kambanda, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Joslin Kamatuka, Vitapi Ngaruka, Charles Hambira, Treasure Kauapirura, Itamunua Keimuine, Immanuel Heita, Absalom Iimbondi and Deon Hotto.