NEW ERA | Monday, July 17 2017 Namibia maintain dominance over Zimbabwe Page 22 Shikongo claims silver at IPC World Champs Page 23 SPORT Namibia leaves it late against gutsy Sables Carlos Kambaekwa Windhoek Reigning continental champions Namibia came from a potential 20-7 shock arrears going into the changeover to dispatch a stubborn Zimbabwe by 31 points to 26 in the Africa Gold Cup at Hage Geingob stadium in Windhoek on Saturday. The hosts visited the white wash on no fewer that four occasions after the break to record their umpteenth victory over their SADC neigbours after the visitors broke through at the final minute to the home side’s 22. The visitors looked a sure bet for a rare triumph over their archnemesis, having opened the scoring charts via a penalty, followed by a hat trick of tries complemented by a goaled conversion before halftime. Struggling to get out of first gear, the hosts managed to reduce the deficit through a converted try before upping their game in the second half. The victory consolidates Namibia’s position at the top of the log standings on 15 points – leaving central African rivals Kenya adrift in second place with 12 points. Uganda and Zimbabwe are perched in third (12 points) and fourth (11 points) places, respectively, with only a point separating the two nations. Northern Africa’s sole representative, Tunisia, sits with the wooden spoon in the six Nation Africa Gold Cup without a single point yet, with Senegal occupying sixth spot with one point. Current log standings after last weekend’s matches 1.Namibia 2.Kenya 3.Uganda 4.Zimbabwe 5.Senegal 6.Tunisia Photo: Strauss Lunyangwe Unstoppable… Namibia looks set to retain the prestigious Africa Gold Cup en route to qualifying for its sixth appearance at the 2019 IRB World Cup to be hosted by Japan. Somaeb strike sinks Zim Warriors … Warriors on the rebound Photo: Emmency Nuukala Back to winning ways… The Brave Warriors delivered a spirited performance to dispatch the Zimbabweans at a wellattended clash at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek yesterday. Staff Reporter Windhoek The Namibia senior football team, the Brave Warriors, returned the compliment to their rugby counterparts by dispatching a strong Zimbabwean side in their opening match of the biannual CHAN Cup at Sam Nujoma stadium in Windhoek yesterday. The victory followed short on the heels of the national senior rugby team’s hard fought triumph over Zimbabwe on Saturday, while the Namibian under-16 rugby side also saw off their Zimbabwean opponents in their final match of the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week match at Grey College in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Saturday. Speedy winger Ballack Somaeb’s solitary strike in the opening half yesterday separated the two nations, as Namibia recorded their second consecutive win over their eastern neighbours in as many matches. The Warriors thus have a onegoal cushion going into the decisive second leg in Zimbabwe this coming weekend. Under-fire Warriors mentor Ricardo Manetti was obliged to reshuffle his cards after Namibia’s lukewarm showing at last month’s COSAFA Senior Challenge in South Africa that saw the team make an early exit from the regional tourney for the second successive year. The hosts started the match like a house on fire, allowing the visitors little room to manoeuvre with some rocksteady defending. The centreback pair of Mashaba Karongee and Tebs Lombaard stood their ground, giving nothing away while dealing efficiently with aerial balls against Zimbabwe’s beanpole strikers. The much-needed victory eased the pressure off Mannetti, who has come under a heavy barrage of criticism after a string of poor results, despite the lack of action in the domestic football league for over a year now. Apart from netting the only goal of the match, Somaeb was lively throughout the entire clash, in the process winning the Man of the Match award for his performance, ably assisted by veteran playmaker Petrus Shitembi, while new sensation Riaan Hanamub also played a blinder. Namibia took the lead shortly after the halftime break when Somaeb latched onto a long through ball from defender Karongee to beat the Zimbabwean shotstopper hands down. The Brave Warriors’ starting line up included Loydt Kazapua, Larry Horaeb, Mashaba Karongee, Tebs Lombaard, Stigga Ketjiere, Benjamin Nekavu, Petrus Shitembi, Absalom Iimbondi (Itamunua Keimuine) Roger Katjiteo (Dynamo Fredericks) Ballack Somaeb (Muna Katupose).