Namibia were left shell shocked, after South Africa out four past them without reply. The half time team talk was certainly one of caution, after all, the Brave Warriors failed to register an attempt in the second stanza.

To win (90 min)
 Namibia 5/1
 Draw 23/10
 Mali 11/20 


Namibia are up against group leaders Mali in the final Group matchday. A positive result in this one will definitely throw a spanner in the qualifying works, but I feel that even the most ardent of critics would find that improbable, at the very least.

Orlando Pirates’ Deon Hotto scored the only goal of the game as The Brave Warriors edged Tunisia on opening day. Indeed, that was the nation’s first win at AFCON, coming in their 10th such appearance at the tournament. Hotto was crowned the Man of the Match in that one but failed to add to his goal tally during his run out against South Africa.

Collin Benjamin and company were sent back to the drawing board, after they were dismantled by South Africa in their second run out. Namibia captain, Peter Shalulile, spurned two glorious chances in the first half of that one. The Mamelodi Sundowns hitman has churned out a reputation for being a big game player for the serial PSL champions but failed to replicate his club form for country.


Mali currently occupy top spot in Group E, with four points. Their 2-nil victory over South Africa on opening day was followed up with a stalemate against Tunisia. Indeed, The Eagles will be licking their lips at a limping Namibia outfit who collapsed on matchday 2.

Eric Chelle has used Premier League based Yves Bissouma sparingly. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was on the pitch for less than an hour against South Africa and was summoned from the bench in the 84th minute against Tunisia. The quality of the squad means that Chelle can bubble wrap his ace and save him for the knockouts.

RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara was having a tournament to remember, until he was forced off the pitch against Tunisia with an injury. Al Ahly’s Aliou Dieng is someone that Chelle can rely on, should he opt against the tried and tested Bissouma. At the business end of the pitch, Auxerre striker Lassine Sinayoko comes into this one with two from two and could make it three from three!

PREDICTION: Mali to take this one!

With four points from a maximum six, The Eagles’ chances of qualifying for the knockout stages are now very strong, with the four best third-placed sides from the six groups advancing alongside the top two of each pool. They currently occupy top spot and I really can’t see their AFCON campaign coming to an end in the group stages.

Written by Desh Parthab