By Carlos Kambaekwa
Surprise package of the season and current MTC Namibia Premiership leaders Sport Klub Windhoek’s fairytale run could come to an abrupt end in their own backyard tonight.
The Germans leapfrogged Ramblers into first place after the Tunchel Street Boys were brought heavily down to earth by a resurgent Civics side last weekend, bringing to a halt Ramblers’ unbeaten run this season.
The defeat was Ramblers first in the league campaign this season – leaving SKW the only remaining unbeaten side but that pattern could also tumble when the Germans host defending champions Civics at the SKW Stadium in Olympia tonight (19h00).
With no less than nine teams in the 12-team Namibia Premier League still in the running for the coveted league title, Helmuth Scharnowsky’s charges are determined to surge up the ladder and re-write the history books by winning four back-to-back league titles.
Victory for the Khomasdal-based outfit will see them shifting alongside SKW at the summit of the MTC Namibia Premier League with 17 points each, but the Germans will remain on top because of their superior goal average.
After a slow start, the Civilians seem to have rediscovered their magic and if their near faultless performance against Ramblers is anything to go by, SKW should roll up their sleeves and brace themselves for another showdown with the undisputable champions.
“We have adjusted the players’ remuneration and downsized their salaries slightly while raising their win bonuses significantly and this particular exercise is surely bearing fruit as players will always strive to develop a winning mentality if they are to take home a fat pay cheque on month end,” revealed the tongue-in-cheek Civics long-serving team manager Paul Stramis.
SKW coach Richard Starke is wary of the danger posed by Civics and acknowledged the Civilians’ strength.
“Civics is very sharp in the firing line and possess the capacity to score goals when the situation presents itself, but we have worked out a strategy to avert that danger and minimize the supply to their speedy forwards,” said the SKW mentor who is rated amongst the shrewdest coaches around.
“We are a bit thin upfront but are able of making up for that shortcoming with a well organised defence and that has been the basis of our success this season.”
SKW are likely to be minus holding midfielder Ralf Ellinger who is nursing an injury and faces a late fitness test, but the Germans can take solace by the availability of reliable defender Gideon Muvangua.
Muvangua missed last week’s draw against African Stars – serving a one match suspension – and is now available for selection together with new signings Michael Mauha and Gereon Gowaseb who joined from African Stars and Black Africa respectively.
Both players are expected to make their debut tonight after a delay with their registration forced them to miss out SKW’s encounter with Stars.
In what could be easily described as the top of the bill encounter, coastal side KM Eleven Arrows welcomes Orlando Pirates at the Kuisebmond stadium in Walvis Bay tomorrow at 19h00.
Both teams are fresh from last weekend’s wins, and the Buccaneers will be out to make it two in a row against coastal sides following their recent victory over APS Blue Waters, while the maroon and gold outfit will be looking at claiming the scalps of another Katutura giant in the form of the Ghosts.
In tomorrow’s other action, African Stars should have little trouble in condemning Fedics United to their eighth league defeat this season when the Reds entertain the league rookies at the SKW Stadium (18h00).
Across town Ramblers, still licking their wounds after last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Civics, would like to return to winning ways with the visiting Oshakati City the likely candidates to face the wrath of the Pionierspark-based outfit at the Ramblers field (19h00).
The visitors are perched in 9th position with 11 points – five points adrift of second placed Ramblers and a good showing against the star-studded Ramblers would move them into the upper echelons of the MTC Namibia Premier League standings, whilst the blue and white stripped outfit could reclaim the first spot provided Civics cut down to size the wings of high-flying SKW in tonight’s penultimate clash.
Action returns to the Ramblers field on Sunday, with Black Africa hosting Fellah Snewe’s unpredictable Mighty Gunners (15h00).
The men in uniform are coached by former Black Africa favourite son Dawid “the Lion” Snewe and the Katutura giants have a score to settle with their former prot??????’??