Brave Warriors take slender lead

The Namibians will need at least a draw away in Zimbabwe to progress to the next round of the 2018 CHAN qualifiers.

17 July 2017 | Sports

The Brave Warriors restored some lost pride yesterday after beating regional rivals Zimbabwe 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma stadium to grab the first leg advantage in the 2018 CHAN qualifiers.

The Namibians will travel to Harare for the reverse fixture this coming Sunday. Former Free State Stars and Blue Waters goal poacher Hendrik Somaeb scored the only goal of the match through a strike in the second half.

Both sides played some entertaining football at the packed Katutura stadium, with Welwian !Hanamub in particular, impressive for the Brave Warriors. However, both teams failed to convert the chances created.

For Zimbabwe winger Talent Chakaroma had an opportunity to score after some fine footwork, but his effort went wide, much to the delight of the clearly football-starved local crowd. Somaeb then responded with an easy chance, but his effort also failed to hit the target.

Namibian skipper Ronald Ketjijere struggled to contain the fast Zimbabwean midfielders, but recovered in the second half with a battling performance. Namibia almost scored the opener through Benjamin Nenkavu, but his low and powerful shot was well saved by the opponent's goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo. Just before half-time, !Hanamub was once again involved in the thick of things and this time around his perfectly timed cross landed on Absalom Iimbondi's head. However, the Namibian attacker failed to convert the chance.

After the break the Brave Warriors were determined to break the deadlock and they were rewarded early in the second half when Somaeb scored through a well taken shot. The goal clearly gave the local side a psychological advantage as they found their rhythm by attacking the Cosafa champions' defence. They could, however, not breach the opponent's defence, which was well marshalled.

Towards the end of the second half, Zimbabwe tried to comeback but it was too late as the Brave Warriors held on for a narrow 1-0 win. Namibia now travels to Harare where a draw will see them qualify for the group stages of the 2018 CHAN qualifiers. The tournament, which is only played by local-based players, will be hosted by Kenya.





Limba Mupetami

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