Namibia have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) despite suffering a 4-1 loss at the hands of Zambia at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday evening.
The Brave Warriors were given a huge favour by Guinea-Bissau, who held Mozambique to a 2-2 draw in a concurrent Group K game. The combination of results mean Namibia join Guinea-Bissua in securing a berth at the Afcon.
Namibia made a positive start but Zambia soon settled into the game and claimed the lead in the 13th minute with a brilliant long-range strike from Augustine Mulenga, which gave goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva no chance.
The visitors should have claimed an equaliser on 27 minutes, with a brilliant counter attack allowing Peter Shalulile to draw the goalkeeper off his line before squaring for Deon Hotto, but the winger hit the post with an open goal in front of him.
The score remained 1-0 in favour of the hosts up to halftime, and Chipolopolo needed just 10 minutes of the second half to doubled their lead. Mwape Musonda won an aerial battle to knock the ball down into the danger area and Donashano Malama arrived to fire home from close range.
Namibia thought they had pulled a goal back a few minutes later when Shalulile turned home a cross from the right flank, but he was incorrectly adjudged to have been in an offside decision – with an injured Zambian defender lying prostrate on the turf clearly playing the forward onside.
The hosts added to their advantage in the 83rd minute, with Lazarous Kambole providing a fine cross from a free kick and Mulenga netted his second with a glancing header, before Namibia pulled a goal back through Peter Shalulile.
The hosts added to their advantage with a goal from Kamboule in the second minute of added time to complete the 4-1 scoreline, but it was Namibia who were left celebrating when news of the result from Bissau filtered through.
Zambia (1) 4 (Mulenga 13’ 83’, Malama 55’, Kambole 90+2’)
Namibia (0) 1 (Shalulile 90’)
Zambia: Silwimba, Chungu, A. Chama, Chongo, Malama, Phiri (Sakala 90+5’), Mulenga, C. Chama, Musonda (Kambole 64’), Shonga (Mbewe 80’)
Namibia: Mbaeva, Lombard, Hanamub, Hoaseb, Kambanda (Gebhardt 82’), Shitembi, Stephanus, Shalulile, Ketjijere, Hotto, Shilongo (Katupose 63’)