African Stars, Blue Waters, Black Africa and Young African are the early pacesetters in this season’s MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) after they collected maximum points in the first two matches of the season, while the likes of Mighty Gunners,
Young Chiefs, Chief Santos, Life Fighters and Tigers find themselves in the relegation zone.
This weekend, the NPL continues with round three and four, with the pick of the weekend clashes being the Katutura derby between Tigers and Black Africa at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
The reigning champions will be playing their first league match this season after they donated points to Citizens and UNAM last weekend because they had failed to register with the league on time.
Former Tigers’ great, Frans ‘Page” Ananias, has put his money on arch-rivals Black Africa to win the derby.
“Those years we used to prepare a month before such a high profile game. Is it still a derby? I don’t think so because the vibe is no longer the same. I think Black Africa will win because they just won their two games last weekend. It also depends if they (Tigers) will play,” Ananias said.
Former Black Africa and Tigers coach, Rusten Mogane, is also tipping Black Africa to win Saturday’s encounter.
“Tigers were the best team in the league the previous season, but they have a new coach that will bring in new ideas and it is never easy. My heart is with Black Africa,” Mogane said.
The week’s fixtures started off with the match between Black Africa and Tura Magic on Wednesday evening at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Black Africa lost that match 1-3.
In the second match, African Stars taking on Citizens on Friday, 27 October at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, in a match that is expected to produce lots of goals.
Stars head into the match after scoring eight goals from two matches, following a 3-1 win against Pirates last Friday and a 5-0 demolishing of Life Fighters on Sunday, 22 October.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer after his team’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tura Magic last Sunday, Citizens coach, George Ochurub, said they will try and give their best against Stars this weekend.
Life Fighters coach, Christy Guruseb, whose side will play against another struggling side, Mighty Gunners, and Rundu Chiefs, is confident of collecting maximum points.
Young African club owner and coach, Maleagi ‘Mali’ Ngarizemo, said his team is ready for the challenge against reigning MTC/NPL champions Tigers on Saturday at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis before they play Tura Magic on Sunday, also at the same venue.
“Our approach will always be the same even against Tigers. We respect Tigers, but since we are playing at home, we have an advantage. If we collect four or three points, that will be good for us,” Ngarizemo said.
In another encounter, Blue Waters will travel to Tsumeb to take on Chief Santos on Saturday, before facing Young Chiefs on Sunday in Oshakati.
Another coastal side Eleven Arrows will have a date with Young Chiefs on Saturday in Oshakati before clashing with Chief Santos on Sunday in Tsumeb.
Pirates, who started the campaign with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of African Stars last Friday before playing out to a 1-1 draw against Civics on Sunday, welcome Rundu Chiefs on Saturday in Windhoek before they take on Mighty Gunners on Sunday.
Pirates started life without their first choice goalkeeper and current Brave Warriors shot stopper, Charles Uirab, who joined UNAM, while former defender and captain, Brian Gurirab, is yet to make himself available this season.
Pirates’ new keeper, Ivan Hoeseb, is still to win many hearts at his new club. Hoeseb looked nervous against Stars and was also not comfortable against Civics, although his crucial saves helped his team to collect a point off Civics.
“I can handle the pressure at Pirates and I want to become the number one ‘keeper at the club. I am 24 years old and I still have lots of football in me,” Hoeseb said. Civics were marvelous against Pirates and were unlucky not to walk away with maximum points.
The Civilians will play against UNAM on Saturday before playing Citizens on 31 October.
Civics duo of Donald Geiseb and Steven Gariseb were unstoppable last weekend. Geiseb was fouled more than seven times in the game against Pirates, while Gariseb’s speed was just too much for the opposition to handle.