Brilliant goals take Brave Warriors to Cosafa final

MORULENG; Namibia’s national football team the Brave Warriors reached the Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Cup final for a third time in their history after beating Madagascar 3-2 on Thursday.

The last time Namibia qualified for the Cosafa final was in 1997 when they lost to Zambia and in 1999 when they lost to Angola on an away goal rule.

Namibia went into the game after defeating defending champions Zambia 5-4 on penalties in the quarterfinal on Sunday.

Speaking to the media after the game, which took place at at Moruleng Stadium, Namibian coach Ricardo Mannetti said Madagascar was a side not to be underestimated but he is happy they are through to the final of the competition.

“The last time Namibia reached the final was when I was a player in 1999 and it really feels great that we as a team have made it to the Cosafa final. My defenders were a bit sloppy in the first half but I told them at half time, making a mistake or two does not define who they are and we are winners who have to reach the finals. They came back came back solid in the second half,” said the coach.

Namibia opened the scoring in the 17th minute with Benson Shilongo who volleyed the ball into the net from a Petrus Shitembi cross, but it did not take long for Madagascar to equalise when Sarivahy Vombola made no mistake and converted from a defensive error by Chris Katjiukua in the 22nd minute.

Three minutes later, another defensive blunder by Namibia’s Denzil Haoseb handed Madagascar their second goal of the game when Vombola made no mistake again.

Namibia equalised in the 31st minute with Shilongo, who scored his second goal of the game from a Deon Kavendji cross.

The half-time score was 2-2.

In the second half, Namibia came out the stronger side and dominated play throughout the game.

Peter Shalulile missed a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper after Ananias Gebhardt passed him the ball in the goal area box. The player however redeemed himself in the 84th minute with a cracker from the penalty area.

The goal was Shalulile’s first in the tournament and for the Brave Warriors.

Namibia won the game 3-2 to qualify for the final where they will meet Mozambique, who beat Botswana 2-1, also on Thursday.

The final match of the Cosafa Cup will be played on Saturday at the Moruleng Stadium 16h30 Namibian time.