Namibia were eliminated from the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Saturday after losing 0-1 to Tanzania in a historic match in Cameroon.
A second-half strike by Farid Mussa was all the Taifa Stars needed to win the first all-female match officials in a CAF senior men’s game played at the Limbe Stadium.
The result means both Zambia and Guinea maintain their places at the top of the group with four points apiece while Tanzania keep alive their hopes of advancing with three points in third place.
Namibia have no points after two matches and have thus been eliminated from the competition because they cannot finish at least second the group even if they win their final match.
With history being made as for the first time in African football all the match officials were females in a senior men’s CAF competition, a lot was expected from the game.
The female refereeing trio of referee Lidya Tafesse (Ethiopia) and assistant referees Bernadettar Asimenye Kwimbira (Malawi) and Mimisen Agatha Iyorhe (Nigeria) was in charge of the match.
But the early exchanges did not inspire confidence.
The best chance of the first-half fell to the Taifa Stars in the 29th minute, but striker Mussa’s flick was blocked by goalkeeper Kamaijanda Ndisiro before it was cleared away.
The Brave Warriors goalkeeper also saved from Ayubu Lyanga and Saidi Juma, with Marcel Papama testing Aishi Manula at the other end in a goalless first half.
Just after the break, Namibia captain Absalom Limbondi forced the goalkeeper into a double-fisted save from a free-kick at the edge of the box following the Warriors resolve to throw more men forward.
On 63 minutes, Lyanga found some space in the penalty box and wriggled past two defenders before unleashing piledriver which Ndisiro dived to save with aplomb.
Tanzania broke the deadlock two minutes later when the Namibia goalkeeper failed to deal effectively with an inviting cross from the right by Lyanga
Ndisiro tried to punch with one hand and the ball fell in the path of Mussa who hammered home to spark some frenzied celebration.
Namibia could have equalised in the 77th minute when substitute Isaskar Guribab teased goalkeeper Manula out of his spot but the midfielder’s final touch went just wide.
The Taifa Stars goalkeeper was called into action two minutes later and he produced a marvelous save from Absalom Limbondi’s free-kick near the goal of the East Africans.
Gurirab produced a fantastic but desperate bicycle kick with two minutes remaining as the Brave Warriors pressed in search of the elusive equaliser.
Manula’s heroics sealed the fate of the Brave Warriors who are now eliminated from the competition losing their second straight match in the four-team group without scoring a goal.
Namibia will play Zambia in their final group game at the Limbe Stadium on Wednesday.
Guinea travel to the Stade de la Réunification in Douala to face Tanzania in the matches that will be played simultaneously.