WINDHOEK, 22 APR – Namibia’s under-20 football team, the ‘Young Warriors’ were earlier today knocked out of the second round of the 2019 CAF under-20 AFCON qualifiers.
Namibia were down a man at halftime, after Johannes Hollombach was sent off in the 37 minutes following a recklessl challenge on a Botswana player. And Botswana capitalized on the man advantage as they scored the first goal of the game, with Tabang Khuduga scoring for the visitors. Namibia came back to equalize in the 34th minute of the second half, when Betheul Muzeu emerged from the bench to score for the hosts. However, when the referee sounded the whistle after 90 minutes, the Young Warriors had effectively been knocked out.
After the reverse fixture ended up in a 0-0 stalemate in Gaborone, Botswana automatically advanced to the second round on the away goal rule.
Speaking during the post match interview, young warriors coach Gerald Gunther said his boys did not come to the party in the first half as Botswana controlled that segment, thus putting his Young Warriors under intense pressure to redeem themselves in the second half.
Botswana will now face Congo, and the winner of that encounter will advance to the final round of the qualifiers to face either Senegal or Egypt, depending on the outcome of that fixture to be played in July. Niger will host the AFCON under-20 tournament. The four teams that will reach the semifinal stage in Niger are guaranteed automatic qualification for the 2019 FIFA U20 World cup.