Katjiukua and Horaeb out of key AFCON qualifier

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The Brave Warriors will prepare for crunch game in Zambia next month without defenders Larry Horaeb and Chris Katjiukua who will miss the 2019 Group K African Cup of Nations qualifier in which Namibia could qualifier for their third Nations Cup appearance.

Ricardo Mannetti is preparing his beloved Brave Warriors for the 23 March clash in Lusaka with Zambia and as he finalizes his training squad, information emerge that defenders Larry Horaeb of Tura Magic and Chris Katjiukua of Highlands Park in South Africa are not eligible.

“These two key players for us over the last few years will not be available as they have accumulated enough yellow cards to keep them out of the final Group match at Zambia. It is a big blow but life goes on,” explains Mannetti.

Mannetti is not worried about their absence as he has options. “We have built this team for over five years and we have capable players that can fit in. Denzil (Haoseb) have proven with his versatility to play in midfield and defence. We have Teberius (Lombard) who has also done well in that position. Charles (Hambira) have come off age and was tested at CHAN last year. Emilio Martin is another option for us. There is a lot depth in the team when it comes to that position indeed”, says Mannetti.

The coach adds that they are working on their tactics and see which players will fit in before they make final decision on call ups and come match day, the mission will remain the same. “We want to qualify, we have to qualify and we will treat the game as any other with of course special attention as it will be the last game and we need to do well and reach the finals. We have come a long way and the only to finish this off in style will be with qualification to AFCON finals” Mannetti states.

Namibia can qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals if: they avoid defeat to Zambia; they lose to Zambia and Mozambique lose to Guinea Bissau; they lose to Zambia and Mozambique draw against Bissau (Namibia have better head to head against Mozambique).

Guinea Bissau and Namibia are top of Group K on eight points each with Mozambique in third place on seven points. Zambia are on four points are out of the race to Egypt 2019. The group winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations to be played in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July 2019.