The much-anticipated Katutura derby between African Stars and Black Africa (BA) that was scheduled for this Sunday, will now take place on Tuesday, 28 November at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, due to the funeral service of former BA player, captain, coach and chairman, Bethuel ‘Five’ Hochobeb, who passed away earlier this month.
Stars currently top the log standings with 24 points, two points ahead of Tura Magic, while Black Africa are in third position with 15 points.
Black Africa could, however, reduce the deficit to within six points if they beat struggling Civics on Friday night at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Civics are coached by Brian Isaacs, who led BA to four consecutive NPL titles between 2011 and 2014 before he went on to win another league title with Tigers in 2016.
Civics are in seventh place with nine points.
MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) chief administrator Josua ‘Tovey’ //Hoebeb, confirmed the postponement of the BA/Stars match.
“This was an agreement between the two teams and they have agreed to play the match on Tuesday, since the late Hochobeb will be laid to rest this weekend,” //Hoebeb said.
The pick of the weekend clashes will be at the coast when Blue Waters take on a misfiring Tigers side on Saturday at the Kuisebmund stadium in Walvis Bay.
Blue Waters, in 10th position with nine points, have also been struggling with form recently after they lost 1-0 at home against University of Namibia (UNAM) last Saturday before they played to a 1-1 draw against Citizens on Sunday.
Blue Waters will also play Tura Magic on Sunday.
Another struggling coastal side, Eleven Arrows, have a big game on Saturday against a strong Magic team that collected maximum points over the past weekend.
Magic defeated Rundu Chiefs 2-1 on Saturday before beating Mighty Gunners 2-1 on Sunday.
Arrows’ other game will be against Tigers on Sunday.
Tigers are in sixth place with 10 points, but still have two games pending against UNAM and Citizens.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer, Civics coach Brian Isaacs said they will need to do better if they are to beat his former team, BA.
“My team is still inexperienced and hopefully we will put up a good game against a very good BA team,” Isaacs said.
Young Chiefs from Oshakati remains the only team in the league so far without a victory.
Newly appointed coach, Alexander Itumba, said that his team has been “unlucky in some games.”
Itumba was speaking after his team held Civics to a goal-less draw on Sunday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Chiefs will play Life Fighters in Oshakati on Saturday, before they play Orlando Pirates on Sunday.
“I only started with the job less than two weeks ago and I am still trying to find the best formula for the team. I am not worried about our performances so far as I do believe that we will do better in the next matches,” Itumba said.
Pirates coach, Woody Jacobs, said he is frustrated by his team’s performances, especially in the goalkeeping department.
His team has conceded 12 goals in the eight matches played so far.
Pirates’ other game this weekend will be against Chief Santos in Tsumeb.
Jacobs, who started with Ivan Hoeseb between the poles in the first four games of the season, now prefers Welcome Nail, but that has not helped his cause.
“To be honest, I do not like to make excuses - we did not play well in the first half (against Young African). We allowed them to dictate the play. The ‘keeper made mistakes because of lack of communication with the defenders. We need to be more aggressive and smarter. Even our defending is definitely not the best,” Jacobs said.
Saturday, 25 November
UNAM vs Rundu Chiefs, Citizens vs Mighty Gunners, Young African vs African Stars.
Sunday, 26 November
Citizens vs Rundu Chiefs, UNAM vs Mighty Gunners, Chief Santos vs Life Fighter and Young African vs Civics.
Tuesday, 28 November
Black Africa vs African Stars.