Fiesty Warriors pushes Senegal all the way in defeat

The Tafel Lager Brave Warriors lost 3-1 to Senegal on Tuesday at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg with the Teranga Lions winning group H of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Namibia showed great character and frustrated Senegal in the opening moments of the match but in the end Senegal striker Famara Diedhiou scored hat-trick as Senegal sealed their place in the third knockout stage of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with two games to spare.

Namibia netted through their talisman Peter Shalulile in what was a feisty affair with both sides showing great determination and physicality to win the battle.

But Senegal’s victory takes them to 12 points in the pool and out of sight of their challengers, with no team able to catch them at the top of the group.

Senegal’s opening goal on 21 minutes was all too easy from a Namibia point of view. No-one closed down Sadio Mane on the left flank and he picked out an unmarked Diedhiou just outside the six-yard box, who easily headed into the back of the net.

But Namibia were level just before the half-hour mark with a typically clinical finish from Shalulile. He collected the ball on the edge of the box, side-stepped a defender and drilled low into the bottom corner of the net, giving Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy no chance.

The visitors almost took the lead again as Mane volleyed a shot goalwards, but Brave Warriors gloveman Lloyd Kazapua was up to the task and blocked the rasping effort.

Willy Stephanus forced an excellent save from Mendy near the close of the first half as his fierce free-kick from 35-yards looked to be arrowing into the net, but the teams went into the break all square.

Diedhiou made it 2-1 on 51 minutes with ​his second header as the Namibia defence failed to challenge him in the air.

He completed his hat-trick with six minutes remaining when Mane’s low cross was met by Diedhiou at the back post and he had the simplest of tap-ins.

The Brave Warriors must travel away to face Congo-Brazzaville in their penultimate qualifier next month, before a home clash against Togo to complete the ccampaign.