Namibia were crowned COSAFA Cup 2015 champions when they registered a deserved 2-0 win over Mozambique in the final of the regional championship at the Moruleng Stadium in South Africa on Saturday.
Pacey winger Deon Hotto proved the hero with both goals as Namibia claimed a first ever Southern African title.
And they did it the hard way, coming through the first round pool stages to play six matches in 14 days.
Goals in either half from Hotto, the first a deft chip after a swift break and the second a deflected curler, handed the Brave Warriors the title in what will be one of the proudest moments in the country’s footballing history.
Mozambique’s young side had their chances in the game, but could not match the greater experience of the Namibians and in particular the pace of Hotto.
Madagascar finished third after they defeated Botswana 2-1 in the bronze-medal match at the same venue earlier in the afternoon.
Sarivahy Vombola netted two goals in as many minutes early in the first half to set the Malagasy on their way and in doing so finish as top scorer in the COSAFA Cup 2015 competition with five goals.
That is one ahead of the Namibian duo of Hotto and Benson Shilongo.
Segolame Boy pulled one back for Botswana with six minutes remaining, but they could not force an equaliser in the closing stages.
Both teams will be pleased with their tournaments, especially the Malagasy who also came through the group stages to play six matches.
SATURDAY’S THIRD/FOURTH PLAYOFF RESULT
Botswana 1 (Boy 84’) Madagascar 2 (Vombola 16’, 18’)
SATURDAY’S FINAL RESULT
Namibia 2 (Hotto 38’, 74’) Mozambique 0
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
Namibia 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
Zimbabwe 3 2 0 1 4 4 6
Mauritius 3 1 0 2 1 4 3
Seychelles 3 0 1 2 0 2 1
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Madagascar 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Swaziland 3 2 1 0 4 1 7
Lesotho 3 1 0 2 2 4 3
Tanzania 3 0 0 3 0 4 0
Matches Played: 23
Goals scored: 46
Biggest victory: Namibia 4 Zimbabwe 1 (Group A, May 21)
Most goals in a game: 5 – Namibia 4 Zimbabwe 1 (Group A, May 21); Namibia 3 Madagascar 2 (Semifinals, May 28)
5 goals – Sarivahy Vombola (Madagascar)
4 – Benson Shilongo (Namibia), Deon Hotto (Namibia)
3 – Michel Randriamanjaka (Madagascar)
1 – Segolame Boy (Botswana), Talent Chawaphiwa (Zimbabwe), Ronald Chitiyo (Zimbabwe), Daniel Darkwah (Ghana), Isac Decarvalho (Mozambique), Omaatla Kebatho (Botswana), Chris Katjiukua (Namibia), Jeremea Kamela (Lesotho), Aaron Katebe (Zambia), Sifiso Mabila (Swaziland), Raphael Manuvire (Zimbabwe), Zicco Mkanda (Malawi), Mthunzi Mkhontfo (Swaziland), Bornwell Mwape (Zambia), Limbikani Mzava (Malawi), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland), Luis Parkim (Mozambique), Lantonirina Rabehasinmbola (Madagascar), Martin Rakotoharimalala (Madagascar), Carlos Rusere (Zimbabwe), Peter Shalulile (Namibia), Xolani Sibandze (Swaziland), Olivier Simouri (Madagascar), Nathan Sinkala (Zambia), Jean-Pierre Sophie (Mauritius), Muhammad Sulumba (Malawi), Thapelo Tale (Lesotho), Sadney Urikhob (Namibia)
Own goals – Lucky Malata (Malawi), Limbikani Mzava (Malawi)