Profile: Brave Warriors at Cosafa 

Elmo Kambindu in action for Namibia against Lyle Lakay of South Africa at the 2023 Hollywood Bets Cosafa Cup. File photo

Namibian football has largely remained competitive in the last few decades, from the heady heights attained in 1997 and 1999 when they were Cosafa Cup runners-up, to 1998 and 2008 when they shocked African football by reaching the African Nations Cup finals.

They finally did win the regional crown in 2015 as coach Ricardo Mannetti’s side made a thrilling run to the Finland were worthy winners.

They played six games in all, building momentum along the way, before being crowned champions after beating Mozambique 2-0 in the final.

They had hoped to win back-to-back titles in 2016, but lost in the quarter-finals to Botswana on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

They did, however, go on to claim the Plate competition as they defeated Zambia 1-0 in the final.

The Brave Warriors reached the Plate final again the following year, but this time lost 1-0 to South Africa, and then were beaten heavily 4-1 by the same opposition in the Plate semi-finals in 2018.

They started in the group stages in 2019, but could not advance to the quarter-finals despite winning two of their three pool games, which is usually enough.

In 2022 they entered in the quarter-finals and reached the decider again, but lost 1-0 to Zambia after extra time, and in 2023 went out in the pool stages.

In 2008, Namibia broke a run of seven first-round exits in the Cosafa Cup – when they lost to Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Eswatini, Angola and Botswana three times – as they progressed to the quarter-finals before losing out to a South African President’s XI.

They also managed to claim their first away win in the competition in 2007 when they beat Lesotho to third place in the group stages in Gaborone.

They followed that up in 2008 with away wins against the Comoros Islands and Malawi.

The Brave Warriors were the surprise package of the 1997 edition, finishing second to winners Zambia, and in 1998 caused a major upset by knocking out World Cup finalists South Africa at the preliminary round stage.

In 1999, they were again in the final, and narrowly lost to Angola in extra-time in the second leg in Windhoek. – Cosafa

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