WINDHOEK, 28 MAR – Two second-half goals by Vitapi Ngaruka and Benson Shilongo were all Namibia needed to overcome Lesotho in a thrilling international friendly match here on Tuesday evening.
Before the match the nations met 10 times, with Lesotho winning four times, Namibia winning three times and the two drawing three times.
On Tuesday, Lesotho looked on their way to another victory when Sera Motebang opened the scoring in the 44th minute after beating the Namibian defense and goalkeeper Maxilian Mbaeve.
The half time score was 1-0.
In the second half, the Namibian technical team rang in changes by replacing Romeo Kasume with Itamunua Keimuine.
It took the Namibians 19 minutes to equalise when defender Vitapi Ngaruka rose the highest to meet a corner kick from Absalom Iimbondi and headed it home.
With time running out, Lesotho seemed to be playing for a draw, but the Namibians had other intentions. Substitute Panduleni Nekundi, who came on for Aprocius Petrus, made a big difference with his runs and won the Brave Warriors possession.
Namibia continued dominating play and once again found the back of the net through Benson Shilongo in the 80th minute. A fast-played free kick by Deon Hotto made it possible for Keimune to supply Shilongo.
Speaking to the media after the match, stand-in coach Ronny Kanalelo said he was impressed with the team’s determination as it produced results.
“This match is dedicated to head coach Ricardo Mannetti, who is absent due to family bereavement and we are keeping him in our prayers,” said Kanalelo.
He added the team showed character, as it is not easy to come back from a goal down at home.
“We offered young players a chance to play ahead of their youth qualifier game in Botswana over the weekend and I am happy that the boys showed character,” Kanalelo said.