Shalulile fires Warriors to victory over Niger
Peter Shalulile scored the only goal of the match as the Brave Warriors beat Niger 1-0 in their Group K CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon.
Highland Park striker Shalulile stuck the killer punch for the Brave Warriors on 25 minutes after pouncing onto a loose ball off Niger goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda after he blocked a shot from Benson Shilongo.
Before that Shalulile had a golden chance on 10 minutes, beating the offside trap only to sidestep his shot wide of goal with Daouda clearly stranded.
Benson Shilongo, Shalulile and Deon Hotto combined well on 12 minutes only for the latter to sky his effort over the cross bar from the left. The inspirational Wangu Gome continued to pick pass from Namibia from midfield and after finding Hotto on the left, the winger delivered a cross but Shilongo miscued in the 18 metres area under pressure from Niger defenders.
Niger never really threatened the local’s goal with Warriors captain Da costa Angula and partner Ferdinand Karongee doing ever so well, assisted by right back Larry Horaeb and Gebhardt Ananias on the left.
In the second half, Niger came out different and substitute Alio Youssef’s shot was bravely blocked by the alert Max Mbaeva in the box, after some fine work down the right by Victorian Zakaria past Ananias.
Hotto found space and hit one with genuine authority from 25 metres, the ball flying onto the left upright and out for a goal kick.
The sides then traded chances as the game draws on but then on 75 minutes, Namibia’s defensive midfielder Denzil Haoseb saw red after a late tackle on Abdoul Ibrahim. Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti was forced to withhold Absalom Iimbondi from coming on at that stage with the defensive minded Oswaldo Xamseb replaced Shilongo.
Namibia could have added another goal at the dearth, as Hotto was at the end of a Willy Stephanus pass across the front of goal after some hard work by the hard running Shalulile.
“I’m happy with what I saw today but we could have been up by three for four by halftime. The energy from the boys was motivating and going to the next games we need this momentum. Now it’s back to training and prepare for Cosafa and after that think of the final group game against Senegal. Now focus is on Cosafa”, said Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti after the match.
Next up for the Warriors is an international friendly match against Malawi on Wednesday and then travel to Zambia for another friendly match on 12 June.