Brave Warriors of Namibia in a brave Group E titans

Posted : 08 January 2024

The Brave Warriors of Namibia, in Group E with Tunisia, Mali, and South Africa, will need to do something out of the ordinary in the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) if they want to stand a chance of emerging from the group of death in which they are sandwiched.


Perhaps to get the needed test of the type of opposition the team would face in the AFCON, the Namibian Football Federation has lined up tough friendlies for the Brave Warriors, including a match against the Black Stars of Ghana.


The Brave Warriors are expected to be in Ghana on January 9 to slug it out against the Black Stars at the Baba Yara Stadium.


The Brave Warriors will line up against Tunisia, making their 22nd AFCON appearance. Namibia, on the other hand, is just making its fourth foray into the competition and is yet to gain an AFCON win.


Recent form offers little encouragement for Collin Benjamin’s side. They have one win in five and have fallen to defeat against Equatorial Guinea and Eswatini, who are 88th and 149th in FIFA’s world rankings.


Namibia played its first international under the name South-West Africa on May 16, 1989, at home against neighboring Angola and lost 1–0.


On March 23, 1990, only two days after gaining independence from South Africa, they hosted neighbor Zimbabwe and lost 5–1. On June 7, they lost a home friendly 2–1 to Mauritius. Namibia's next contests were played in Lesotho, where they lost 2–0 to their hosts on August 1, 1992, but gained their first-ever draw in a 2–2 tie against the same opposition the very next day.


Namibia's first win came on July 1, 1994, in a 1–0 victory away over Botswana in a friendly. On May 17, 1998, Namibia played their first match outside of Africa and against non-African opposition, losing 2–1 in a friendly in France against Saudi Arabia.


Namibia has made three appearances in the African Cup of Nations, going out in the first round in all three competitions. In 1998, Namibia lost to Ivory Coast 4–3 and drew Angola 3–3 before losing to South Africa 4–1. In 2008, Namibia lost to Morocco 5–1 and to Ghana 1–0 but drew Guinea 1–1 in their last match. In 2019, they lost all their group games, scoring only a single goal.


They lost to Morocco 1–0 and suffered the same loss to South Africa before losing to Ivory Coast 4–1.


The most capped player of the Brave Warriors is defender Denzil Haoseb with 82 caps, while Peter Shalulile is the all-time top goal scorer with 16 goals.


He reached this milestone in a 1-1 draw against Cameroon in the AFCON qualifiers at Yaoundé on March 24, 2023.


For the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024), Namibia has trimmed its squad down to 23 from 28 and has been preparing in Ghana.


Coach Collin Benjamin had submitted a final squad list to the African Confederation deadline, with 11 players returning from the squad when Namibia last competed at the finals in Egypt in 2019.


It includes Peter Shalulile, the top scorer with South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, and fullback Ryan Nyambe, who grew up in England and played at Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic before joining Derby County this season.


It will be Namibia’s fourth appearance at the finals, where they have yet to win a game.


“Before we think of outplaying our opponents, we have to outplay our previous performances in the tournament. AFCON is our World Cup, and our aim is to leave a mark,” said the coach.


Goalkeepers:

Loydt Kazapua (Chippa United)
Edward Maova (Pretoria Callies)
Kamainjanda Ndisiro (African Stars)


Defenders:

Kennedy Amutenya (Gaborone United)
Ananias Gebhardt (Baroka)
Charles Hambira (African Stars)
Riaan Hanamub (AmaZulu)
Denzil Haoseb (Khomas Nampol)
Lubeni Haukongo (Cape Town Spurs)
Ivan Kamberipa (Orapa United)
Ryan Nyambe (Derby County)
Aprocius Petrus (Liria Prizren)


Midfielders:

Uetuuru Kambato (African Stars)
Ngero Katua (UNAM)
Marcel Papama
Wendell Rudath (both Jwaneng Galaxy)
Petrus Shitembi (Kuching City)
Prins Tjiueza (Liria Prizren)


Forwards:

Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates)
Absalom Iimbondi (Khomas Nampol)
Joslin Kamatuka (Maritzburg United)
Bethuel Muzeu (Black Leopards)
Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns).

 

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