Ryan Nyambe’s first taste of tournament football came to an end last night, as Namibia lost 4-1 to a star-studded Ivory Coast side.
The defeat saw the Brave Warriors bow out of the Africa Cup of Nations after they failed to pick up a point from their three group games.
Having already suffered narrow 1-0 defeats to Morocco and South Africa in their first two fixtures, it was always going to be a tough ask against one of the pre-tournament favourites, who boasted a number of Premier League players – past and present – in their ranks.
Nyambe started at centre back for the third game in succession, but he was powerless to prevent former Bournemouth winger Max Gradel from opening the scoring in Cairo with a fine finish on 39 minutes.
The 2015 champions doubled their lead just before the hour mark when Serey Die’s long-range effort deflected in off Nyambe, before Namibia halved the deficit on 71 minutes when Joslin Kamatuka capitalised on a goalkeeping error to score their first goal at the tournament.
However, late strikes from Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha and Lyon’s Maxwel Cornet inflicted a third straight defeat on Namibia and ended any faint hopes they had of reaching the knockout phase.
Nyambe, who pledged his allegiance to the country of his birth in May, made his debut in a pre-tournament friendly against Ghana, before taking his tally of caps to four over in Egypt.
The 21-year-old will now be given some time off, before joining up with his Rovers team-mates for pre-season training over the coming weeks.