LUSAKA — Namibia were made to sweat but came away with a 2-1 victory in their opening Cosafa Cup Zambia 2013 Group A clash against Mauritius in Lusaka on Saturday.
The Brave Warriors might have been out of sight by halftime as goals from Petrus Shitembe and Pinehas Jakob gave them a 2-0 lead, but missed chances meant the Mauritians were always in the game.
And when Jean Pierre scored for the islanders five minutes from time, it set up a grandstand finish with the Namibians left hanging on to their slender lead.
A near-capacity crowd watched the opening match of the Cosafa Cup Zambia 2013 and were in a festive spirit as the Mexican Wave rolled around the ground. It was all Namibia in the opening 20 minutes of the game and they were rewarded when Shitembi curled his shot into the goal to give Ricardo Mannetti’s side the lead.
Larry Horaeb, Sadney Urikhob and Shelembe had excellent chances to increase the lead, before Jakob arrowed his 30-yard shot low into the bottom corner for Namibia’s second.
Mauritius improved after the break and it was them who made the running, Louis Pithia crashing his shot against the crossbar.
The goal their play deserved finally arrive on 85 minutes when Pierre planed a 35-yard free-kick low into the goal to give his side hope.
The islanders poured forward in search of an equaliser after that, but it was Namibia who almost scored, Riaan Cloete shooting wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Namibia will now meet Seychelles in their second match today, with victory ensuring them a quarterfinal meeting against South Africa.