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Benjamin Concedes to Missing Star Striker and Shares His AFCON Wish for Namibia

Namibia head coach, Collin Benjamin says the injury to his talisman, Peter Shalulile has left a gap in his attack as the striker continues to nurse back to full fitness following a hamstring injury suffered while doing duty for his club, Mamelodi Sundowns last month. 

Benjamin was speaking after an international friendly match against South Africa at the Orlando Stadium where the two sides played out to a 0-0 stalemate over the weekend. 

The Stallions, who were exceptionally good on the day needed a finisher admitted the coach, who said the 29-year-old’s absence was missed but such opportunities were good for the younger players to get the much-needed experience at international level.

“If you have a striker of his quality, you can’t really replace that.  His team is finding it difficult to replace him so how do you think it is for us. But these are the opportunities that the young ones have to take, and they can only learn through these kinds of matches,” said Benjamin.

Namibia, currently find themselves in a precarious situation in their TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers. 

The Brave Warriors currently lead Group C ahead of Cameroon and Burundi who are in action against each other this afternoon, with both sides having an equal chance of a place at next year’s continental finals in case of a win. 

Sharing his views on what a qualification to the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON would mean for his nation, the former defender said it would be a restoration of pride for Namibia.

“It would be huge (to qualify). If you look at the history, we had 1998, 2008, 2019 and if we can do it now it would be an achievement considering where we are coming from with two to three years of non-activity of football. If we do make it, it’s obviously a plus for the country. Its restoration, its pride and it means a lot for us as a country” concluded Benjamin.