Mission accomplished

The Brave Warriors have joined 13 other so-called minnows, who will fight it out with the big guns for 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification.

12 September 2019 | Sports

Namibia have entered the group stage, in their bid to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, after beating Eritrea in a two-leg preliminary qualifier.

In the first match, Namibia rued some missed chances, but managed to beat the Sea Camels 2-1 via a Peter Shalulile strike and an own-goal by Eritrean captain Henok Goitom.

In the second leg, played in Windhoek on Tuesday, Namibia defeated the visitors 2-0, with goals coming from Absalom Iimbondi and Shalulile. The tie ended 4-1 on aggregate. The Warriors now join Ethiopia, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Mozambique, Angola, Togo, Rwanda, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan in the World Cup qualification group stages, along with the so-called top African nations, who didn't have to play preliminary qualifiers.

The group stage draw is expected to take place in November or December. Brave Warriors interim coach Bobby Samaria said they are known for playing defensive football, but “not all birds should be caged”.

He said the players should be allowed to fly and they will see how it goes in the next qualification round.

Shalulile, who captained the team against Eritrea, said its now back to the drawing board for the Namibians.

“It's all about the team and finding out how far we can go with each match,” he said.

While they wait for the draw, the Namibians will shift their focus to a 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Madagascar.

The Chan competition is only for locally-based players, giving them a chance to prove their worth. The first leg will be away between 20 and 22 September and the return leg will take place in Windhoek between 18 and 20 October. The aggregate winner will qualify for the Chan finals, which will be played in Cameroon.

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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