Namibia and Zimbabwe battled it out to a goalless draw in the first encounter between their senior men’s sides in Windhoek on Saturday morning. Both sides created several scoring chances, while Zimbabwe had a shot cleared off the line, but in the end they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Zimbabwe were the first to attack and forced four short corners in a row, but Namibia’s defence held out, with goalie DJ Strauss pulling off a good save.
After weathering the early storm, Namibia’s first chance came through a counterattack by Siabonga Martins who passed to Wayne van der Linde in Zimbabwe’s penalty area, but the Zimbabwean keeper Heuer brought off a good save.
Namibian captain Joseph Kashamako and Penda Namundjebo also put in some strong attacks from the midfield, but Namibia’s finishing let them down.
At the other end, Doco Mvkwewa and Pritchie Matambo put in some strong attacks, while a Mvkwewa shot was cleared off the line by Zebald Ndjarakana.
Zimbabwe stepped up the pace in the second half and Mvkwewa once again came close with a cracking shot but Strauss brought off a great save.
Zimbabwe were reduced to 10 men when Ryan Fury was sinbinned for a foul, but they continued to attack and kept Namibia’s defence busy, where Andrew Louw, Ruben Engel and Ralph Lumley stood out.
Namibia were content to soak up the pressure and catch Zimbabwe on the counterattack where the speedy Martins impressed. He set up good opportunities for Ettienne de Villiers and Kave Tjikuniva but neither could find the net.
In the final stages Zimbabwe forced a few short corners but could not break through as Strauss brought off a fine save from Mvkwewa.