Namibia advance to FIFA World Cup Group stage
By Sport Reporter
A goal in each half led the Brave Warriors to a 2-0 win over Eritrea on Tuesday night at a packed Sam Nujoma Stadium where a 4-1 aggregate saw the senior national team advance into the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Returning to the team after missing the first leg away in Asmara, Absalom Iimbondi started and scored on 24 minutes at the near post to break down the stubborn Eritrean defense.
Captain Peter Shalulile and Benson Shilongo had chances in the first half against Eritrea who held their own very well in the first stanza. Eritrea also had their chances with their captain Henock coming close with a free-kick before halftime.
In the second half, Namibia continued to control the match with returning playmaker Petrus Shitembi on song as he picked passes with ease and danced with the ball at will, much to the delight of the hundreds who packed the stadium under the floodlights of the majestic Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Iimbondi could have made it 2-0 later on but saw his acrobatic shot fly across the face of goal, while substitute Joslin Kamatuka saw his bicycle kick headed into the hands of the Eritrean keeper by Shalulile.
Chance after chance, the Warriors dominated and it was not until in the added time that another substitute Willy Stephanus picked out the hard running Kamatuka, who squared the ball back to the ever-alert Shalulile to push it home under no pressure.
Namibia thus advanced to the group stage draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and interim coach Bobby Samaria send praises to his boys.
” It was a day of letting the birds fly and we let the boys do their thing today. We were in control and never really troubled by the opposition and we knew how to get over the line. It was a perfect day and we can only march on and see how it gets in the next round,” the coach said.
The draw is expected to take place in November or December but in the meantime it is back to the 2020 African Nation’s Championship (Chan) qualifiers with Namibia scheduled to play Madagascar.
The first leg match will be away from home between 20-22 September and the return leg will be at home between 18-20 October. The aggregate winner will qualify for the 2020 CHAN Finals to be played in Cameroon.