MTC NFA Cup

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Rookies Book Place in Final By Kuvee Kangueehi Walvis Bay Relegation-threatened Cymot SKW booked themselves a place in the final of the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) Namibia Football Association (NFA) Cup against Orlando Pirates after beating Oshakati City 4-1 on penalties at the Kuisebmund Stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday. The MTC Namibia Premier League rookies held their nerves in the penalty shootout after a goalless draw with Oshakati City who dominated the match for long periods. The team from Oshakati have themselves to blame after they wasted numerous chances in the first and second half, which could have wrapped up the game. City striker Andrew Haimbodi and winger Tangeni Ngishidimbwa are the biggest culprits for the missed opportunities and cost the team an opportunity to lay their hands on the most prestigious cup and a whopping N$350 000 for winning the competition. City, who eliminated pre-tournament favourites Blue Waters in the quarterfinals, started off stronger and had the better share of the ball possession. Haimbodi wasted his first chance when he hit the ball over the post despite being unmarked and enjoying acres of space. Oshakati City through the captain Elemu controlled their line of defence very well and caught SKW all the time in the offside trap. The northern boys were also strong in the midfield and Koroma, Janus and Kasuna passed the ball with great accuracy in the middle of the park while Pieters provided the creative spark to the team. The short but skillful Pieters was a thorn in the flesh of the SKW defence and their captain Lucky Kakauva who appeared overweight was struggling to keep pace with him. SKW however had their own opportunities and midway through the first half the usually clinical Marco van Wyk missed a sitter when he softly hit the ball with only the goalkeeper to beat. Towards the end of the first half City had another opportunity to take the lead when Nghishidimbwa broke from the right with a strong run and gave a perfect cross to Haimbodi who forced a fine save from SKW goalkeeper Herbert Kapeng. The halftime score was 0-0. Into the second half City upped the tempo and Kapeng again stopped a superb save from Haimbodi, this time with his legs, an action which will have the national team selectors scratching their heads. Although the chances for SKW were not as frequent as those for City, SKW had better and clear opportunities and Van Wyk was guilty of another one when he shot the ball wide while it appeared easier to score. Haimbodi’s last contribution to the game was another wasteful strike after he had done all the hard work, beating two defenders and cut- ting the ball inside for a good shot, but his shot was a tame one for Kapeng to collect. City then brought on Titius Ipinge who caused more concern but it was SKW who came close in the closing minutes to steal the game. Van Wyk broke again from the middle of the park and after some confusion in the City defence the striker hit the woodwork to rattle the City defence. The match came down to a penalty shootout, which SKW won comfortably thanks to Kapeng who made some good saves. In the other MTC NFA Cup semi-final tie, Orlando Pirates booked their place in the MTC NFA Cup final after defeating Ramblers 4-2 in penalty shoot-outs. The teams were level at 1-all after regulation time. Pirates and SKW will play the final of the tournament during the first weekend of June 2006. The winning team will walk away with a cool N$350 000 while the runner-up is to take home N$130 000 with the two semi-finalists pocketing N$60 000 each. Winners of the additional awards categories such as the player of the series and top goal scorer of the series will be N$2 000 richer while the referee of the series, assistant referee, coach, team of the series, goalkeeper, team manager, electronic media and print media of the series winners will each be rewarded with N$1 500 for their sweat. Participating teams received travelling assistance amounting to N$1 000 in each round of the tournament. The second round took place on 17 and 18 February while the third round took place in Oshakati on 28 and 29 April. Windhoek Optics Ramblers were the defending champions after having beaten Black Africa on a penalty shootout 5-4, after the two sides drew two-all at the end of 30 minutes of extra time.