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AFCON 2023: Hotto header confirms Tunisian shock at the hands of pesky Namibia

The Brave Warriors of Namibia produced the biggest shock so far at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Tunisia in Korhogo. Orlando Pirates winger Deon Hotto headed in the late match winner to give Namibia their first ever win at the Africa Cup of Nations in their tenth match at the competition. A stunned Tunisia will attempt to recover against Mali on Saturday and Namibia will look to continue their success against COSAFA rivals South Africa next.

Tunisian media reported that the favorites worked on their finishing and set pieces in anticipation of an expected victory but the Eagles of Carthage ran into a determined Namibian team who had plenty to prove. However it was the Brave Warriors who nearly fell behind inside five minutes when a corner kick from Tunisia left back Ali Maâloul found the head of Taha Khenissi, forcing a sharp reaction save by Namibia goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua.

Soon after it was Namibia’s turn to threaten. In the 8th minute a long ball was flicked on by star striker Peter Shalulile to winger Deon Hotto whose return pass found the Mamelodi Sundowns marksman for a shot that was well saved by Tunisia keeper Bechir Ben Saïd. Namibia’s direct style of play continued to cause issues for a surprised Tunisian team whose best opportunities came through services from out wide by Maâloul through crosses and set pieces.

A scoreless first half gave way to another even 45 minutes of football with Tunisia showing a bit of improvement following the introduction of central midfielder Aïssa Laïdouni. Kazapua continued his Man of the Match performance within the opening minute with another reaction save on a Youssef Msakni header, again from a Maâloul corner kick. Namibia punched back five minutes later when Absalom Limbondi intercepted a loose pass by the Tunisian defense and crossed for Shalulile, whose scuffed shot nearly snuck into the goal but was cleared off the line just in time.

Following some attacking substitutions by Namibia coach Collin Benjamin, the moment of triumph arrived in the 88th minute. Substitute Bethuel Muzeu did well to escape a defender on the left wing and whipped in an early cross to the far post that caught the Tunisian defense off guard where Hotto was wide open to power his header past Ben Saïd to complete a well deserved shock victory over the North Africans.

Highlights from the match are below.

Full Match Highlights

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