Namibia and Zambia in stalemate


Absalom Iimbondi scored early for Namibia but his goal was cancelled out by Zambia’s Lazarous Kambole midway the first half as they two sides from Southern Africa played to a one-all draw under the floodlights at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca to finish their 2018 Africa Nations Championship(CHAN) Group B as they started it.

Namibia had to win to go top of the group and Zambia, with a better goal difference, needed a draw and it was Brave Warriors who took the game to the Zambians earlier on.

Starting his third consecutive group match Junias Theophilus had a chance on 52 minutes as he played himself onside and latched into a fine through ball but ran out of steam and shot poorly.

Petrus Shitembi then came on for his Tura Magic teammate Junias on 56 minutes and was involved in a great play for Namibian on 76 minutes that saw Panduleni Nekundi square back into the area, Itamunua Keimuine lying off for Iimbondi, but his shot was blocked by two defenders.

After the match coach Ricardo Mannetti told the media that his side has proven that they can play a different brand of football when the situation calls for it.

“ It's about all about managing tournament situations and tonight we showed that we can play. The first two games were about getting the results, grinding the points and we managed to do that successfully and tonight our team showed growth. We struggled with ball possession before tonight but we did well and we were different” assessed Mannetti.

His Zambia counterpart, Winston Nyirenda said his team came to Morocco to win the championship and their character thus far has shown that they are going somewhere.

With the one-all draw on Monday night, Zambia tops Group B on seven points and a better goal difference than Namibia, who also finish on seven points. Zambia will travel back to the city both teams dearly love Marrakech to prepare for the second quarterfinal against Sudan on Saturday, while first up the Brave Warriors will look to continue their fairytale story in the land of the Atlas Mountains. Namibian will play Morocco at the Mohammed V stadium in Casablanca on Saturday, 27 January at 18h30, Namibian time.

The Brave Warriors for the first time have not lost a game after winning two and drawing one and have scored three goals and conceded one to advance to the quarterfinals of a continental tournament with one game to spare.