By Carlos Kambaekwa
Sport Klub Windhoek retained its position at the top of the MTC Namibia Premiership without kicking a ball after closest challengers Ramblers and Black Africa faltered when the situation presented itself to overtake the Germans who were not in action over the weekend.
KM Eleven Arrows moved within a point of log leaders SKW on 16 points – the same number as second placed Ramblers who suffered their first league defeat of the season when the star-studded Pionierspark-based outfit was brought heavily down to earth by a rejuvenated Civics.
Returning to their slaughterhouse at the Khomasdal Stadium, the Civilians were in mean mood in a match that was played under torrential rain and took a 1-Nil halftime lead through veteran striker William Chilufwya after the Zambian import dispossessed an out-of-sorts Ramblers defender Luther Kanalelo to put the “Bethlehem Boys” ahead.
Discarded Brave Warriors’ midfielder Tuyeni Tugela stretched the Civilians lead with a long-range cracker to send the hundreds of Maroon and White clad “outies” into raptures.
Ramblers were thrown a lifeline when former Tigers’ playmaker Nelson Akwenye narrowed the deficit with a clinical finish, but the Civilians were not prepared to share the three precious points at stake with their cross-town rivals and held on for dear life as the Tunchel Street Boys bombarded the Civilians goal with countless attacks from all sorts of angles.
Just as the equalizer looked inevitable with the Civics fans unwillingly chewing their nails to pieces – Kanalelo’s nightmare continued when the beanpole defender’s intended back header was totally misjudged by Lucas Hashiti in Ramblers’ goal.
The usually reliable sticks guard made a meal of the innocent looking back pass, before the ball strangely trickled over the goal line – much to the relief of the home fans.
Final score: Civics 3 – 1 Ramblers.
The victory lifted the defending champions into fourth place on the MTC Namibia Premiership log standings and revived their fading title hopes as Helmuth Scharnowsky’s lads moved within three points of this season’s surprise package SKW and two behind joint second placed Ramblers and Eleven Arrows.
Arrows leapfrogged Black Africa into third place with a resounding 3-1 win over the very same Black Africa at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday.
Elsewhere, sleeping giants Orlando Pirates and Tigers also climbed one step up the ladder with hard-fought victories over the weekend.
New signing Celestine Wasserfall laced his scoring boots and showed his former team mates a few familiar routines when the former Chief Santos and Blue Waters’ net rattler scored the only goal of the match in the Buccaneers’ narrow win over struggling Blue Waters at the Khomasdal Stadium on Saturday.
The coastal giants remained winless after 9 matches and looked destined for the exit door come the end of the season.
League rookies Fedics United got stuck at the foot of the MTC Namibia Premiership after the Southerners were handed a 2-1 defeat by Tigers in their own backyard at the J Stephanus Stadium in Keetmanshoop on Saturday.
Dawid Snewe’s Mighty Gunners are proving a hard nut to crack at the Mokati stadium in Otjiwarongo. The men in uniform held Oshakati City to a goalless draw on Saturday.
The result moved the league rookies 5 points clear of the relegation zone while Blue Waters and Fedics United sank deeper into the relegation zone after last weekend’s matches.
Both teams are living dangerously on the basement of the MTC Namibia Premier League standings with 4 points apiece.