Team Namibia struggles on opening day of AUSC Youth Games

07 Dec 2018 14:00pm
By Hesron Kapanga
GABORONE, 07 DEC (NAMPA) – Namibian teams found the going tough on day one of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC), Region Five Under-20 Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana on Thursday.
Namibia is participating in 10 sport codes at the games, which end on 16 December 2018.
On Thursday, the Namibians competed in football (men and women), judo, netball and tennis.
The judo team, which has five athletes competing in different weight categories, failed to progress to the next round of the competition as all their athletes lost their fights in the knockout stages.
In the individual play in tennis, only Megan Lombard managed to win her opening match as she beat her Lesotho opponent. The other three tennis players lost their opening matches but still had a chance to redeem themselves on Friday.
Tennis coach Wellington Sibanda described it as one of the toughest tests for his players.
“The athletes did well but the competition this year is just very tough. I am however hopeful that we will do better in our next group matches, as well as in the team plays,” he said.
In the football category the men’s football team lost their opening match of the competition, going down 0-3 against an inspired eSwatini team.
The Namibians went into the half-time break trailing by a single goal.
In the second half they came out firing on all cylinders and started dominating play, but could not find the back of the net from all the scoring chances they created.
Eswatini added to their score after the Namibians failed to clear a corner in the 65th minute and a free kick in the 78th minute.
With just 10 minutes left in the match, Namibia who finished all their substitutions, were reduced to 10 men as one of their players suffered a concussion after going for a header. He collided with the eSwatini defender and the medics would not let him return to the field.
Namibia’s day was only improved by the ladies’ football team that beat the team from eSwatini.
The Namibians trailed by a goal in the opening 20 minutes of the match but recovered to score three goals for a 3-1 score line.
They will now face South Africa on Monday, while the men’s team will take on host Botswana Saturday afternoon.