Soccer

Cosafa Cup: Namibia bag four goals to ensure quarter-final spot

2015-05-22 09:21

JOHANNESBURG — Deon Hotto scored twice within nine minutes as Namibia stormed into the Cosafa Cup quarter-finals yesterday by trouncing Zimbabwe 4-1.

The brace by the winger transformed a one-goal lead into a three-goal cushion midway through the second half in Moruleng.

There was no way back for Zimbabwe, who had been the more impressive of the two sides in earlier southern Africa championship Group A games.

Chris Katjiukua and Sydney Uri Khob were the other scorers for the Brave Warriors, who led 1-0 at half time, while Raphael Manuvire converted a Zimbabwe penalty.

Namibia finished the mini-league with seven points after drawing 0-0 with Seychelles and defeating Mauritius 2-0 in other mini-league encounters.

Topping the table earned the Namibians a quarter-finals showdown with defending champions Zambia on Sunday in a competition offering a R500 000 top prize.

Zimbabwe (six points), Mauritius (three) and Seychelles (one) were eliminated.

Andy Ritchie scored six minutes from time to give Mauritius a 1-0 win over fellow-Indian Ocean islanders Seychelles at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg.

“We have made Namibia proud,” declared Brave Warriors coach and former national team midfielder Ricardo Mannetti.

“After battling to create chances in our first two matches, it all came together tonight.

“It was a superb performance with excellent passing and clinical finishing.

“Namibian footballers are good, but they underestimate themselves.

“We have worked hard this week and finally got our reward against Zimbabwe,” added the 40-year-old handler.

Katjiukua darted forward unopposed to nod the opening goal on nine minutes after a corner manoeuvre outfoxed Zimbabwe.

A lob over onrushing George Chigova on the hour gave Hotto his first goal and he struck again from a tight angle with a shot between the legs of the goalkeeper.

Substitute Manuvire sent goalkeeper Virgil Vries the wrong way after 84 minutes only for Namibia to strike again just a minute later through a close-range Uri Khob shot.

Leaders Madagascar and second-placed Swaziland meet today in Rustenburg to decide who top Group B and book a quarter-finals date with guest entrants Ghana.

— AFP

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