Warriors faces bleak AFCON qualification

The Brave Warriors were beaten 2-1 by Mali on Tuesday night at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in their return leg of the 2021 African Cup of Nations AFCON finals qualifiers, Group A match.

Mali opened the scoring on 11 minutes thanks to defensive mistake by Ananias Gebhardt and Sekou Koita scored a wonderful goal from outside the box past Virgil Vries. Mali got their second goal on 36 minutes through Mousa Doumbia who cracked one from the left into the near post of Vries with Larry Horaeb in his wake.

A minutes later Elmo Kambindu headed Namibia back into the game from a well taken delivery of a freekick he won by Absalom Iimbondi.

In the second half, Riaan Hanamub came on for Gebhardt while Benson Shilongo came on for Deon Hotto.

Hanamub conceded a penalty with a foul on Doumbia on 54 minutes but Vries was equal to the task with a great save from El Bibal Toure.

On 66 minutes Kambindu held up play well and squeezed one through to the incoming Shitembi but the latter’s first touch was too hard and high and easy for the Mali goalkeeper to collect.

Hanamub was unlucky towards the end as his shot from 25 meters out can only kiss the far corner upright and back into play after being played through by substitute Marcel Papama.

Towards the end Shilongo was subbed with Panduleni Nekundi and Iimbondi made way for Salomo Omseb as the Brave Warriors looked for the equaliser.

Prior to the match Namibia’s Ryan Nyambe has to pull out of the starting lineup with an injury during warm-up and was replaced by Teberius Lombard while five Mali players tested positive for Covid-19.

2021 AFCON Qualifiers Group A after four rounds of matches: Mali leads with 10 points, Guinea on eight and Namibia on three and Chad at the bottom on one. Namibia will host Guinea and visit Chad in the next and final round of matches.