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Football | Africa

Godfrey Oboabona © Backpagepix

Brave Warriors hold African champs



Namibia’s Brave Warriors drew 1-1 against African champions, Nigeria in a feisty 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying game in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Missing a slew of first-team players through suspension, illness and injury, Namibia struggled early to cope with the pace and power of the West Africans and were almost behind as early as the first minute when Ahmed Musa failed to hit the target from five yards.

Nigeria continued to dominate but found clear cut opportunities difficult to come by. The Namibians meanwhile continued to threaten on the break with little to show for their efforts as the first half ended goalless.

The second half followed a similar pattern with the Nigerians controlling the play without really threatening in the final third.

Namibia were growing in confidence and on 78 minutes, the Brave Warriors took an unlikely lead when Deon Kavendji got on the end of a cross by Petrus Shitembi and diverted a sweetly-struck left footed volley past a shocked Vincent Enyeama.

As expected, Nigeria poured forward in search of an equaliser and found it through an unlikely source, seven minutes from the end.

Nnamdi Oduamadi won a free kick at the edge of the Namibia box and up stepped Godfrey Oboabona who powered home an unstoppable free kick from 20 yards.

Nigeria pressed for a winner but the Brave Warriors hung on for an unlikely and famous point.

It was a great result for the Namibians who had lost their coach, Roger Palmgren a few days to the game. The Swede stepped down on Sunday claiming he and his family received threats.

For Nigeria, they will be left to ponder what might have been as they failed to clinch the win that would have seen them book a place in the playoffs with one round of games still to play.

Nigeria still lead Group F with nine points from five matches, two points more than second-placed Namibia who they host in September.

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