By Kuvee Kangueehi OSHAKATI The Okakarara Secondary School became the new champions of the Coca-Cola Cup on Saturday after they defeated Sanyo High School by a single goal at the Oshakati Independence Stadium. The decisive goal was scored in the final minute of the game by Ben Nujoma who came on as a second half substitute. The only goal in the game was not a classy one but a well taken strike which ensured Okakarara walked way with the trophy, gold medals and N$70 000. The game started off at a slow pace, as the players appeared exhausted from playing the semis in the morning. However, midway through the first half, the game gained momentum and the side from the Caprivi Region was the first to threaten the goals through the lanky striker Nalumino. The tall striker caught the Okakarara defence off guard and moved into a dangerous position but his shot was tame and the Okakarara goalie Tjirundu had no trouble collecting the ball. Soon afterwards Okakarara playmaker Sonnyboy Mbateru started taking control of the game in the middle of the park with his strong runs and timely tackles and it was no surprise when he sent Ignatius Kambai through with a defence splitting pass but Kambai’s shot was well off the target. Both sides had half chances going towards the first half but failed to make the chances count. The halftime score was 0-0. The second half started brightly with both teams looking for the winner. It was a two-way stream with both teams attacking from box to box. However, Okakarara had the lion’s share of possession and wasted numerous chances including an open goal. Sanyo got a goal just after the interval but the goal was ruled out for offside to the dismay of the Sanyo bench. But the match tilted into the favour of Okakarara after Sanyo’s striker Nalumino was sent off for violent physical contact with an Okakarara player. The red card was a serious blow to Sanyo as the tall striker was a constant threat in the Okakarara defence. As the game was heading towards penalties, Nujoma scored in the final minute and sent the sizeable supporters of Okakarara into celebration. Sanyo’s coach Obert Kunodriya was furious after the final whistle and accused the Okakarara players of winning the game by using dirty tactics. Kunodriya was also unhappy with the goal, which was ruled offside and believed the goal should have stood. Former Brave Warriors midfielder Lollo Goraseb on behalf of Coca-Cola for trials in South Africa also selected three players from Okakarara. The players will be leaving to South Africa in two weeks’ time. The final of the Coca-Cola tournament was blessed with the presence of former prime minister and NFA patron Hage Geingob, Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture John Mutorwa and his deputy Pohamba Shifeta. The acting president of the NFA John Muinjo also attended the function.
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