Namibian Football Aiming High

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Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Walvis Bay-based side Eleven Arrows and APS Blue Waters will take their traditional rivalry to a neutral venue in Gobabis as the second stage of the FNB Cup preliminary round matches gain momentum. There are three other relatively low-key matches whose results may be predictable as Orlando Pirates FC engage Oshakati City FC, champions Civics take on Mighty Gunners FC and Ramblers FC face an easier opposition in Robber Chanties FC. It is the derby duel of coastal sides that will be the trump card in the border-town heat. Blue Waters are seeking to reclaim the title they scooped last year, and any slip-up against Arrows will not only signal the end of their FNB chariot but will also hint the twist in the balance of power in Walvis Bay. The premier league is still in its early stages and the balance of power is yet to be tested to its maximum, but a clash between Arrows and Waters will always provide suspense-filled action and temperament. In preparation for the game tomorrow, the reigning NPL champions last night played Division 2 giants Monitronic College, formerly known as Hotflames, in a friendly match at the TransNamib grounds. The Civilians were expected to take the match seriously and will field their best players in preparation for the FNB second round matches at Legare Stadium in Gobabis during the weekend. Boosted by its new signings, the Civilians are expected to win comfortably. However, the students Monitronic College were hoping to upset the champions motivated by their recent victory in the tornament organized by NFA Khomas Region, involving Divisions 1 and 2. They are also strengthened as they have signed two Zimbabwean players and 3 players from the NPL premier league. They were using this match in preparation for the start of the Division 2 Khomas Region league as well as the Hansa Cup. Ever since changing from Hotflames to Monitronic College, they have won all of their last 15 matches. Monitronic College aims to get promotion to Division 1 this season and eventually ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ to premier league. They are still inviting experienced and talented players to join the team. Monitronic College is apparently the only club in the lower division which pays N$60 winning bonuses to their players, and if they win tonight against the Civilians, they stand to earn three times as much. Meanwhile, Nampa reports that Namibia’s 3-2 defeat to Zimbabwe on November 15 in Harare impacted the country’s ranking negatively on the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), published this week. The November ranking by the world soccer body saw Namibia slide down nine places from the 104th position she held in October. Namibia is below neighbouring Botswana (104), Uganda (102) Liberia (112) and Benin (111). On the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ranking, Namibia moved down two places from 27th to 29th position. Namibia’s world ranking improvement depends on how they fair during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Cup qualifier in 2007. The country’s ultimate goal is to qualify for the AFCON 2008 showpiece in Ghana and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. West Africa soccer power house, Nigeria, still heads the CAF ranking followed by Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Guinea, Ghana, Tunisia, Mali, Morocco and Senegal. Nigeria is the only African country to make the FIFA Top Ten list after being placed ninth in this month’s world ranking. Globally, Brazil hold off world champion Italy to second place, followed by Argentina and France in third and fourth places respectively. England is fifth, followed by Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Nigeria and Czech Republic.