Monday 12 April 2021
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Brave Warriors see-off Eritrea in WC Qualifier

Namibia began their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers first round with a routine win as they edged lowly ranked Eritrea 2-1 in the first leg at Asmara stadium.
Peter Shalulile’s side-footed finish on the 50th minute mark, and a spectacular own-goal from Esey Tesfay eight minutes later, which gave the Brave warriors a grip on the match before teenager Ali Sulieman scored what proved to be a consolation goal with twenty minutes of play left.
The win puts Namibia in the driving seat to progress to the group stages of the World Cup qualifiers, with a return leg in Windhoek set for September 10.
It might have been an expected victory, especially considering Eritrea are the lowest ranked team on the continent, and are among the lowest ranked in the world, but the Brave warriors were made to work for the win as they reached half-time goalless.
Namibia started as the brighter of the two sides and there were some neat passages of play in the early exchanges, with African Stars midfielder,Marcel Papama, combining with Willy Stephanus to release Larry Horaeb down the right flank, but the latter couldn’t reach the through ball as it went out for a goal kick.
Eritrea responded by forcing a corner which produced a good delivery only for a miscued volley to send it over the crossbar.
The Brave Warriors continued to produce the better play, especially down the flanks and this time it earned them a set-piece in an inviting position, but Bidvest Wits midfielder Deon Hotto fired the ball straight into the wall.
The best chance came half-way through the first half. Namibia cleared their lines following an Eritrea free kick deep in Namibia’s half, and the Brave Warriors broke onto a counter down the left flank. The ball was cut back for captain Shalulile, but his heavy first touch meant he could only blaze over for a goal kick. Namibia was lacking composure in front of goal and were guilty of this again on the half hour mark when Deon Hotto’s inviting delivery from a set-piece drew a badly executed header from Zambian based defender, Teberius Lombard, before Joslin Kamatuka blasted the rebound over the crossbar.
Despite a frustrating first half, the visitors only had to wait five minutes after the restart to take the lead, with a strike that contradicted their wastefulness in front of goal in the first half.
The goal came when Kamatuka intercepted a loose pass in Eritrea’s half.
Spotting Shalulile’s run in-behind, the forward slipped the ball through, splitting Eritrea’s defence and beating the offside trap.
Through on goal and with only the keeper to beat, Shalulile took a touch to set himself up before neatly stroking the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
Namibia continued to press for the second goal, and it came at the hour mark, albeit fortuitously.
The ball was worked to Willy Stephanus on the right flank following a quick free kick.
The Lusaka Dynamos winger whipped in a deep cross which proved too difficult for Eritrea defender Esey Tesfey, who volleyed it into his own net.
Trailing by two goals, Eritrea increased their intensity and were rewarded just 10 minutes later when Ali Sulieman tapped in from inside the six-yard box to half the deficit. The consolation came a little too late for Eritrea and failed to inspire a comeback from the home side, leaving them with a battle on their hands for the return leg this coming Tuesday.

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