Warriors fought the good fight

The Brave Warriors of Namibia lost their second leg encounter in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers 3-1 against a quality Senegal side yesterday afternoon at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

13 October 2021 | Sports

Limba Mupetami


Brave Warriors captain Peter Shalulile’s goal was Namibia’s only redemption after getting thrashed yesterday by a world-class Senegal side in the second leg encounter of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

The match ended 3-1 with Senegal’s Famara Diedhious scoring a hat-trick for his side.

Diedhiou, who plays for Alanyaspor in Turkey, opened the assault against Namibia in the 22nd minute of the first half. Mamelodi Sundown’s Shalulile responded with an equaliser in the 27th minute. But it was Diedhiou who had the last say.

He went on to score another goal right after half-time in the 51st minute.

He wasn’t through with Namibia, though, with the last goal coming in the 84th minute of the game.

“It was a tough match, coming up against the number one ranked team in Africa with a lot of professional players. They have two Champion League winners in the likes of Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. We knew the going would be tough. I take solace from the fact that we started the match the same way we did in Thies,” coach Bobby Samaria said.

Created chances

“They created chances. We were beaten three times. We had lousy man-making. We had one on the cross bar and the other over the post. My players left everything on the pitch. Hats off to my players, they put in the shift,” he said.

“We have two matches to play. Congo and Togo in November. We need to make sure we get good results and end second in the group.

“We must remember we were never given the chance to get out of the group. Senegal represented Africa at the 2018 World Cup, having even beaten Poland,” Samaria said.

He added that the future of Namibian football is in the Brave Warriors squad. “The fighting spirit was there. The boys can play football, they are talented. What we need to do is minimise mistakes. Playing against these guys mean you will get punished for mistakes,” he said.

For pride

The coach said they will play for pride in the last two games as they will bring in young players in the remaining fixtures. The Warriors will travel to face Congo-Brazzaville in their penultimate qualifier next month, before a home clash against Togo to complete the campaign.

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.

This means the Lions of Teranga advance to the final stage in March, where the 10 qualifiers will be paired and played off over two home and away legs for a place at Qatar 2022.

Namibia is currently in second with four points, with Congo in third with two. Togo find themselves at the bottom with no points.

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