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Namibia stun Tunisia for first ever AFCON win

By primenewsghana
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Namibia produced one of the all-time TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations shocks by defeating 2004 champions Tunisia 1-0 in Tuesday's Group E opener.

In a cagey first half of few chances, both sides lacked sharpness before Brave Warriors' late thunderbolt stole the points.

The Carthage Eagles dominated possession but struggled to penetrate a resolute Namibian backline marshalled by Ivan Kamberipa.

Captain Youssef Msakni tested Lloyd Kazapua with a curled effort but the Tunisians grew frustrated as the game wore on.

Yet while the Brave Warriors lacked attacking spark, their tireless industry and organisation kept a star-studded Tunisia at bay.

As a famous upset loomed ever larger, the minnows delivered a hammer blow in the 89th minute.

Deon Hotto latched onto a long ball over the top and outpaced the defence before coolly slotting past Bechir Ben Said.

The Orlando Pirates winger thought he had doubled the lead when the offside flag denied him another historic strike.

But one goal proved enough as Namibia's warriors held on for the clean sheet to claim a monumental three points.

Few observers gave the southern underdogs hope before the tournament began but now sides in the tournament will give them serious attention thanks to the massive shock on Tuesday.

But this shock victory over one of Africa's giants has given them a good chance of progressing from Group E.

Namibia tops Group E with 3 points as South Africa prepare to play Mali in the group's other game on the day.

The Carthage will have to recover against Mali on January 20 while Namibia come up against regional foes South Africa on January 21.

Post Match facts

  • Namibia have won their first game in their Africa Cup of Nations history, playing their 10th game in the competition (D2 L7).
  • Tunisia have failed to score in six of their last eight Africa Cup of Nations games, as many as in their previous 24 games in the competition.
  • Tunisia have failed to win their last five opening games in the Africa Cup of Nations, after already doing so for seven AFCONs in a row between 1978 and 2002 ; Tunisia is the only team to have two five-game winless streaks in AFCON opening games.
  • Tunisia have conceded two of their last three goals in Africa Cup of Nations after the 87th minute ; the first one happened against Gambia last AFCON and also meant a last-minute defeat in Group phase.
  • Namibia have kept the first clean sheet in their Africa Cup of Nations history, after conceding an average 2.66 goals per game in their nine previous games in the competition.
  • Taha Khenissi is the first Tunisian player to be subbed off after playing less than 15 minutes in an Africa Cup of Nations game, since Opta collects this data (2010).
  • Peter Shalulile (Namibia) has shot six times, including three times on target : these are two all-time best for a Namibian player in an Africa Cup of Nations game since Opta collects this data (2010). Moreover, Shalulile recorded 1,15 Expected Goals, more than the whole Tunisian team (0,69).