Namibia missed injured Shalulile – Benjamin

Brave Warriors await their fate on Afcon qualification

Neville Khoza Journalist
Bafana Bafana Mmodi drebble past Namibian player Ivan Kamberipa on their friendly match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday
Bafana Bafana Mmodi drebble past Namibian player Ivan Kamberipa on their friendly match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday

Namibia coach Collin Benjamin feels the absence of Peter Shalulile was felt during their goalless draw with Bafana Bafana in their friendly match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Shalulile was not part of the Namibia squad that faced Bafana as he was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

Benjamin believes that if the striker was available, in some of the chances they created the Mamelodi Sundowns hitman would have netted few if not one.

“If you have a striker of his quality, you know one would go in. You can’t replace that in the team. His team [Sundowns] is finding it difficult to replace him, so how do you think it is for us?” said Benjamin during the post-match press conference.

“For us, it gives other opportunities to players that they have to take. You can only learn from these matches. You have to go into the middle of the area and put it in. It is about experience and what we need is these kinds of games.”

Despite the draw, the coach was pleased with his side's efforts and attitude on Saturday and praised his players.

“Our team was disciplined, also knowing that we were playing against a team that is good tactically and technically. In the first half we had three good chances that we didn’t take,” he said.

“At this level, those are rare and this is something we have to look at. After that, SA came back in the game after the break and they had a holding striker who was pushing up on the guys.

“They really tested us in that regard and in the end, it was a well-deserved draw for both teams.”

Meanwhile, Benjamin added that the friendly match against SA was a distraction as they anxiously wait to learn their fate in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast.

Namibia are waiting for the match between Cameroon and Burundi in Group C tomorrow to see if they will qualify for the Afcon.

The Brave Warriors are on top of that group with five points with both Burundi and Cameroon on four.

“Luckily, we could come here and play and get it off our minds. The wait continues, but we are confident we will make it. If you look at our group, then this is football.

“It will be huge [to qualify] if you look at our history. We are not as fortunate as our big brothers up here [Bafana], we cannot just qualify like that.” 


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