WINDHOEK - The Brave Warriors yesterday played to a goalless draw against Comoros in the second leg of the African Nations Championship match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium here.
The result means that the home side goes through to the next round of the championship and await the winner between Madagascar and Mozambique on 20 September 2019.
The home side enjoyed much of the ball possession with 21 attempts at goal and nine on target. From the onset, the Warriors dominated the game with well-placed aerial balls in the box, making it difficult for Comoros to handle. Comoros, who looked like they had thrown in the towel from the start, played a more defensive game while absorbing pressure from the home side, with Mighty Gunners Elmo Kambindu missing a golden chance in the first half when he could not head the ball into the back of the net.
Right-winger Marcell Papama, who had a relatively good game, had two chances in front of goal but could not keep the ball low, firing wide on both occasions.
Namibia Premier League top goal-scorer Issaskar Guirirab and Rudath Wendell were brought into the game in the second half and tried to improve their chances upfront with good clever plays but to no avail.
Larry Horaeb was brought down in the penalty box but was denied a penalty when the defender missed the ball clearly making contact with the Tura Magic player. Tigers frontman Abasalom Iimbodi had two chances created in each half, with a long-range shot which got blocked, as Theophilus Junias pounced on the ball and tried his luck hitting the side net instead of passing to Elmo Kambindu who was waiting in the box unmarked. He was again in the thick of things in the 85th minute when the goalkeeper denied him a chance in front of goal.
Interim coach of the Warriors, Bobby Samaria, said the good part of the match was that they did not concede a goal and controlled the game throughout. “We created a lot of chances but unfortunately, we could not convert those chances. It’s not a problem with the offensive players the problem is to kill it off whether it’s an offensive player or defensive player who finds himself in that position,” he said.
The coach felt the players lacked composure in the final third by not making the most of their chances in front of goal.
Samaria said they will be waiting to hear from the Normalisation Committee (NC) to find out what their mandate will be going forward regarding the upcoming World Cup qualifier. “As of now, there is the World Cup qualifier against Eritrea. So, we will hear from the NC whether our mandate will include the World Cup qualifier as well,” added the experienced gaffer.
Comoros, on their part, felt that their team was a bit inexperienced, as they brought a development squad. Coach Alef Francois said this was the third team they brought as the players still have a lot to learn.