The nation awaits football glory

Namibia close to promised land

24 December 2018 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA Every proud Namibian will have their eyes glued to the screen when the Brave Warriors attempt to jump the last hurdle towards Africa’s top football tournament.

Analysts believe that Namibia’s senior national football team will only have themselves to blame if they do not qualify to the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

It has been ten years since the country competed at Africa’s football showpiece.

But there is renewed hope that Namibia can qualify to the tournament given the circumstances of the group.

The Brave Warriors’ northern neighbours Zambia stand in the way between them and glory.

Namibia will play Zambia in the last group encounter in Zambia in March 2019.

“There is a huge possibility that we can go all the way because of how things are standing at the moment.

“Namibia do indeed have a very good chance and can only feel bad if they do not progress to the African Cup of Nations.

“I know we did have a chance to do it at home last month but the boys missed that opportunity.

“So, it is about time we go to Zambia and get that needed three points to book our place at the African showpiece,” says former league chairman Johnny Doeseb.

The fact that Mozambique are lurking just one point behind Brave Warriors makes the scenario a very tricky one for the Warriors.

A win for Mozambique against Guinea Bissau and defeat for Namibia at the hands of Zambia will certainly end the country’s hopes of reaching the African Cup of Nations.

That is why analysts deem it important that Namibia beat Zambia on their home ground in order to avoid them spoiling the party for Namibia.

A draw for Mozambique and a defeat for Namibia can also guarantee the country a spot at the Africa showpiece, but many feel that the country must not take any chances and depend on other results.

“It is indeed a tricky situation but perfectly seeded for the two top teams on the table.

“It is just up to Namibia to make sure that they play their hearts out in order to fulfil the wishes of so many football lovers.

“I believe Mannetti and his staff have built a very good team capable of winning matches in fashion. We do have a great chance,” says the NPL’s Tovey //Hoebeb.

Guinea Bissau are currently leading Group K with eight points, followed by Namibia on eight points.

Mozambique are in third place, on seven points, while Zambia are out of the race after securing only four points.

The group winners and runners-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations, to be hosted from 15 June to 13 July 2019.

Namibia are seeking their third appearance at the tournament after having qualified for the 1998 and 2008 editions.

“We are all hoping that the team does qualify and I believe it will be a special thing if they do qualify just days during our Independence celebrations.

“Yes, there is still work to be done in the final match because we do need to beat the Zambians at all costs,” says NFA president Frans Mbidi.

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