MTC-NFA Cup Drama

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Scavenger Goal Sinks SKW By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Etienne Beukes’ goal in the second half of extra time ensured Orlando Pirates winning the 2005/06 edition of the MTC Namibia Football Association (NFA) Cup at the Independence Stadium on Saturday. With the final heading for a penalty shootout, Beukes scored a real opportunistic goal after Cymot SKW goalkeeper Heribert Kapeng failed to catch the ball as he came under pressure from Pirates’ captain Riaan Cloete. The ball fell loose in the penalty area and Beukes, who had been scavenging all afternoon, made no mistake to bury the ball into the empty net. This fatal mistake from the SKW goalkeeper, who was on loan from Civics FC, was unfortunate as Kapeng had generally had an outstanding afternoon between the poles. Kapeng marshalled his backline well as Pirates went for attack from the first minute. The People’s Team fielded an attack-oriented squad as they had Frans de Muinda, Klaas Blom, Cloete and Beukes in the starting eleven. Within the opening minutes De Muinda broke to the right flank and delivered a swinging cross but SKW defender Henry Somseb read the danger well to cut out the cross. Pirates continued to put pressure on the SKW defence but former Chief Santos and Orlando Pirates defender Lucky Kakauva was reading the game very well and intercepted any danger from Pirates with great calmness. After the 30-minute mark, the pattern was set and SKW had all eleven players behind the ball while Pirates was struggling to break down SKW despite a few clever runs from Blom and Cloete. Pirates won many free kicks and corners but they played most of the balls in the air, which was to the strength of SKW with their tall defenders. The over 3 000 cheering fans of Orlando Pirates who were singing, dancing and drum-beating started to become restless and even started throwing beer tins onto the pitch. What appeared would be a walkover was turning out to be a real tough contest, as some scribes had predicted, as SKW really looked dangerous on the counter-attack. Somseb could have put SKW in the lead if it were not for the quick response from Pirates defender Ivan Namaseb who blocked the shot. The halftime score was 0-0. Into the second stanza as the match progressed, the confidence of the SKW fans and players grew by the minute, while impatience and fear were creeping into the bench and supporters of Pirates. The game was quickly shifting in the favour of SKW and many started to believe that a single goal from SKW would be enough to clinch the NFA Cup for the first time. However, it was not to be as the script was written differently and Pirates won N$350,000, a trophy and gold medals while SKW settled for N$130,000 and silver. Orlando Pirates have now played in their third NFA Cup final, winning two against Tigers (in 2002) and SKW (2006), and losing the inaugural tournament to Black Africa on penalties in 1990. The Buccaneers join Tigers in two NFA Cup victories although Tigers still hold the record of having played in the most NFA Cup finals. Tigers played six NFA Cup finals, winning against Black Africa and African Stars and losing twice to Chief Santos and once to Pirates and Civics, respectively. Following are all the past winners of the NFA Cup since Independence: 1990 Black Africa 1991 Chief Santos 1992 Liverpool 1993 Black Africa 1994 Blue Waters 1995 Tigers 1996 Tigers 1997/98 Chief Santos 1999 Chief Santos 2000 Chief Santos 2001/02 Orlando Pirates 2003 Civics 2004 Black Africa 2005 Ramblers 2006 Orlando Pirates