Baby Warriors narrowly lose to Congo
The Baby Warriors bravely lost 2-1 in their Confederation of African Football (CAF) 2017 U-17 African Cup of Nations second-round first-leg clash against Congo-Brazzaville at the Independence Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The encounter was preceded by a protest by the Namibians of several Congo Players who were deemed over age as the NFA called on CAF to investigate the players through the much revered MRI scanning system.
The game gone underway and the visitors opened the score line after only five minutes when the Namibian defense failed to clear a loose ball from the corner kick, Congo captain Bercy Langa-Lesse scoring from close range.
The Baby Warriors rallied back and held their own and created chances to get back into the game but had to wait until 20 minutes to go as Junior Petrus unleashed a dramatic shot from the centre line into the top corner of the Congolese goal.
The game was heading for a draw up until the injury time when Langa-Lesse pounced gain on after the hosts’ defensive frailties.
Overall, Alex Kaongelwa had a long range effort tipped over the bar, and striker Godwin Awaseb was sent off for a foul 20 minutes into the second half. Eldery Morgan came close when he broke into the box but Congo's defense cleared the cross.
Baby Warriors coach Timo Tjongarero said he was proud of his boys and he is looking forward to the return leg in Congo-Brazzaville.
“We would have done better but the pitch was not the best. The boys did all that was required from them on the day but we were caught out in the last minutes of the game when we lost concentration. But I am happy with the team’s performance,” he said.
The return leg of the Under-17 African Cup of Nations second-round match will be played on 21 August in Congo-Brazzaville at the Alphonse Massemba-Debat Stadium with the winner advancing to the third and final round for Madagascar’s 2017 CAF U/17 AFCON finals.