Namibia Soccer
News Report

Hungry for goals

Author: Jesse Jackson Kauraisa, 19/06/19

POACHER: Itamunua Keimuine (left) in action for the Brave Warriors.

Brave Warriors and Dire Dawa City goal-poacher Itamunua Keimuine says he is fired up ahead of Afcon 2019.

Namibia’s 23-man squad and the technical team left Dubai for Egypt yesterday where the tournament starts on Friday.

Keimuine, who has faced a rough few months due to injury, recovered in time and is eager to play a role on the pitch and even on the touchline.

“Right now it is not about who starts the match but we have to support each other throughout this tournament. The most important thing is that we made the 23-man squad and that is enough,” Keimuine said.

“I am, however, eager to play for my nation at the tournament and will definitely grab the opportunity with both hands if I get it. The spirit in the camp is so high and there is so much self-belief from each and every player.”

Namibia have a mountain, after being drawn in Group D against Bafana Bafana, Ivory Coast and Morocco.

This will be the first 24-team Afcon - up from 16 - and will be hosted until 19 July.

The six group winners and six runners-up automatically qualify for the knockout stages and will be joined by the four best third-placed teams.

After the eight second-round fixtures, there will be the quarterfinals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final.

Namibia will kick off their tournament against Morocco on Sunday.

They will play their second match against neighbours South Africa on 28 June before closing off their group encounters with a match against Côte d'Ivoire on 1 July.

Namibia are seeking their first-ever win in the competition after having failed on two occasions - in 1998 and 2008 - to secure a victory.

Group D is nearly a repetition of the 1998 Afcon tournament in Burkina Faso, when Namibia were drawn against Côte d'Ivoire, South African and Angola.

In 1998, Namibia finished at the bottom of the table with only one point from three matches, as Côte d'Ivoire and South Africa topped the group.

In 2008, Namibia also finished at the bottom of their group, which included Ghana, Guinea and Morocco.

Namibia’s only two Afcon points came via draws against Angola (1998) and Guinea (2008).

Cameroon are the defending champions after winning the 2017 final against Egypt 2-1, courtesy of goals from Nikolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboukabar.

Only Congo (1968), South Africa (1996) and Zambia (2012) have been able to bring the trophy to southern Africa.

Namibian Sun