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Benjamin urges Namibia to seize their chance

Namibia have a chance to not only qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations but also secure top spot in Group C when they face Burundi at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

The Brave Warriors lived up to their name as they put in two courageous performances against Cameroon in the March qualifiers to claim four points and remain unbeaten in the group.

Collin Benjamin’s side kicked off their qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against the Swallows and were expected to finish runners-up to the Indomitable Lions, who beat the same opponents 1-0 in their group opener.

However, a 1-1 draw in Yaounde on March 24 followed by a surprise 2-1 victory in Johannesburg four days later has put Namibia in pole position as they lead the five-time Afcon winners by one point with one match left to play.

Benjamin will be wary of the threat posed by the East Africans in Tanzania after they scored an 88th-minute equaliser through Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana on matchday 1, with the imposing striker having enjoyed a good debut season with Kaizer Chiefs.

But the former Namibia international has called on his players to seize the opportunity and book their place at the continental showpiece for only the fourth time in their history.

“We have the ball in our hands to qualify for the nations cup. All our players are fit and in good spirits ahead of this match,” Benjamin said.

Etienne Ndayiragije’s side have picked up just one point from their opening two matches and need to win their remaining two games to stand a chance of making it to Ivory Coast next year.

The Swallows have previously beaten the Brave Warriors; they emerged 3-1 victors during the Afcon 2017 qualifiers after going down by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture a few days earlier. –