Namibia booked their place in the final of the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup with an epic 3-2 victory over Madagascar in a see-saw semi-final that will forever go down as a classic clash in the competition.
The Brave Warriors would go on to lift the title after a far more routine 2-0 victory over Mozambique, but not before they had to come through a huge test against the Malagasy.
Peter Shalulile got the winner for the Brave Warriors six minutes from time after Namibia had led early on, but then fell behind to two quick-fire goals from the islanders.
Benson Shilongo gave Namibia the lead on 18 minutes with a neat finish, but Sarivahy Vombola, who would end up as top-scorer in the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup, profited from two defensive errors from the Namibians to turn the tables and make the score 2-1 in Madagascar’s favour.
Namibia did not panic though and Shilongo equalised just past the half-hour mark in what was a frenetic start to the game.
Both sides had their chances after that with Shalulile in particular misses a sitter that he would have scored 99 times out of 100.
He finally did get the winner though when he turned home a cross to send the Namibian squad into rapturous celebration.
Namibia, who will host the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup that starts this Saturday, lifted their first ever title in South Africa, becoming just the fifth side to win the trophy.
But this was by far their most memorable game on their way to the title win and one of the best in COSAFA Castle Cup history.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 – Moruleng
Madagascar (2) 2 (Vombola 24’, 26’)
Namibia (2) 3 (Shilongo 18’, 32’, Shalulile 83’)
Ref.: Simanga Nhleko (Swaziland)
Namibia: Virgil Vries, Denzil Haoseb, Willem Mwedihanga, Chris Katjiukua, Ananias Gebhardt, Peter Shalulile, Ronald Ketjijere, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto (Willy Stephanus 90’), Benson Shilongo, Wangu Gome (Heinrich Isaacks 71’). Coach: Ricardo Mannetti.
Madagascar: Jean Dieudonne, Njakanirina Tobisia, Fenolahy Zenith, Francois Andrianomenjanahary, Michael Rabeson (Rajaoniasy Florent 85’), Simouri Olivier, Jean-Claude Marobe, Sarivahy Vombola (Tojo Claudel 85’), Lantoniaina Andriamanalina, Rinho Randriamanjaka (Lantonirina Rabehasinimbola 59’), Martin Rakotoharimalala. Coach: Franck Rajaonarisamba.