Africa: Hard Fighting Namibia Down Togo in Lome

soccer (file photo).

Namibia clinched a precious 1-0 victory on Sunday, beating Togo at their backyard in Lome in their quest for a first ever qualification to the FIFA World Cup, with the Road to Qatar 2022 gathering pace.

Having started their campaign with a draw against Congo, Namibia were in good motivation heading away to Togo who started their journey in the qualification matches with a loss against Senegal.

At the Kegue Stadium in Lome, the first few minutes were fairly balanced, although Namibia created the best chances. The Southern Africans had a brilliant opportunity to break the deadlock after 31 minutes when Peter Shalulile broke through on goal, but couldn't beat Togolese keeper Malcom Barcola one on one.

The home side struggled to create many chances infront of goal but came close a minutes to the break but Kodjo Laba's well angled header couldn't go past keeper Lloyd Kazapua.

After a goalless opening half, the second stanza was always going to be tensely competitive. It was the Namibians who would go for goal first, breaking the deadlock after 54 minutes through Elmo Kambindu's brilliant effort.

Kambindu rifled in a bicycle kick past the keeper after picking up a freekick delivered by Deon Hotto, which was deflected before falling brilliantly into the box.

Stunned by the goal, Togo began to play with more urgency. Elom Nya-Vedji had an effort for the Togolese Sparrow Hawks, but his eventual shot from the right foot went over the bar.

Namibia almost suffered a second goal but had the frame of goal to thank in the 74th minute when Shalulile put Absalom Limbondji through on goal but the latter was denied by the woodwork.

Namibia were almost made to pay for that missed opportunity just four minutes on the turn but their keeper made a brilliant save to deny Laba, who had been Togo's biggest threat on goal all game.

Paulo Duarte's Togolese side kept the push to try and get something off the game and starve off a second consecutive defeat. However, their efforts went to nothing as they couldn't find the back of the net for the second consecutive game.

With the result, Namibia moves top of Group H with four points pending Senegal's match against Congo on Tuesday. With no points and no goals, Togo sits bottom of the group.

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