By Carlos Kambaekwa
Namibia’s Under-20 football team left it a bit too late when the Young Warriors failed to capitalize on home ground advantage in the Namibian Newspaper Challenge Cup against their South African counterparts at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts scored a last-minute penalty to salvage some lost pride with few seconds left of regulation time but could not prevent a defeat after the visitors had taken a two-goal cushion in an otherwise entertaining match that attracted a good crowd of more than three thousand spectators on a cloudy day.
The visitors had an early attempt on goal when Erwin Kaapama fouled the hard-running Michael Morton on the edge of the penalty box.
Thulane Sereko fed Kahelo Mokotjo from the resultant set piece and the burly striker dispatched a right-footed scorcher to the near left post with goal written all over it but Maxmillian Mbaeva stretched at full length to tap the goal-bound shot away for a corner.
Namibia struggled for fluency and lost ball possession at the slightest provocation while the South African Amatjitas played with more purpose and it finally paid off when Thulane Ngcepe opened the scoring with a cheeky little back heel from Daylon Claasen’s low cross.
With the visitors gaining the upper hand and playing with more confidence after the goal, the hosts resorted to some dirty tactics which resulted in defender Ewaldt Kavirombo falling foul of referee Reinhold Shikongo’s crime sheet after the young defender hacked down Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder Mandla Masango from behind.
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