Namibia scored a late equaliser to rescue a point against Central African Republic in their Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Group B debut played at the Cheikha Ould Boidiya Stadium in Nouakchott.
Flory Jean Michael Yangao gave the Central African Republic the lead eight minutes after the break before Penuua Kandjii leveled the score late on.
The debutants played like regulars in the tournament with their free flowing counter attacking football.
Namibia started the better side dominating the midfield and attacking through the flanks with left full back Kandjii a constant threat.
The young full back delivered an inviting cross into the Central African Republic area in the first minute, the combination of defender Biako and goalkeeper Zengba cleared the danger.
Kandjii turned provider again, this time playing in center forward Kaninab who dragged his effort wide after four minutes.
The Namibians continued to pile more pressure on the opponents defence, but their fellow debutants were equal to the task.
Kandjii smashed the Central African Republic post in the seventh minute. The marauding full back pounce on a deflected ball to strike across goal, beating the keeper but not the goal as the ball canoed back into the keepers arms.
The Central African Republic played a swift counter in the Namibian half, defender Soleil Mongolobao fired his effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The two sides tried to hit each other on the break, a long clearance from Namibia’s keeper was not dealt with leaving Kaninab free just inside the box, the diminutive forward powered shot wide.
The Central African Republic failed to punished the Namibian from a corner, an outswing delivery was not dealt with by the defence leaving Ngoma free, the winger poked his effort wide.
Namibia were punished eight minutes after the break when Central African Republic right back Yangao guided his strike into the roof of the net.
The Namibians left it late to secure a point when the defence failed to clear their lines leaving Kandjii leaving free on goal to pick the bottom corner.
The stalemate sends the debutants joint top alongside whiles Burkina Faso and Tunisia who played go a barren score occupy the two other places.
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