By Carlos Kambaekwa
Captain fantastic Arend von Stryk skippered Sport Klub Windhoek to a well-deserved 1-Nil win over defending champions Civics in an action-packed MTC Namibia Premier League match under floodlights at the SKW Stadium in Windhoek on Friday.
The lanky striker scored a sensational second half goal to keep the Germans’ title aspirations alive with an unbeaten streak of ten matches and remained the only unbeaten side in the domestic elite so far this season.
Elsewhere, Michael “Dolam Tower” Pienaar returned to bolster Ramblers’ fragile rearguard after missing in action during Ramblers’ defeat against Civics the weekend before.
The towering defender inspired the Tunchel Street Boys to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over a stubborn Oshakati City at the Ramblers Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
The result kept Rammies within a whispering distance of log leaders SKW who boasts 20 points out of a possible 30 with Ramblers a mere point adrift in second place while Civics dropped further down to 9th place after occupying 4th position before commencement of Round 10 last weekend.
Ramblers target man Pineas Jacobs scored a second half brace to push his season’s tally to 7 goals and pulled 2 goals clear of closest challengers Marco van Wyk of SKW and Tigers’ Tangeni Shipahu for the much sought after Golden Boot Award – come end of the season.
Ramblers, still licking their wounds after the previous weekend’s defeat at the hands of Civics, came from a goal down to level matters through Nelson Dicky Akwenye’s spot kick. The teams were level at 1-all going into the changeover.
African Stars climbed up the log ladder with a comprehensive 3-Nil win over relegation-bound Fedics United at the SKW Stadium on Saturday.
A goal from either side of play from hardworking midfielder Ninja Karongee sandwiched by a first half strike by Pat-Nevin Uanivi separated the men from the boys as the visitors’ woes continued following a missed penalty that could have thrown them a possible lifeline.
The Reds are now 5 points off the pace of log leaders SKW in 5th spot, but the Katutura giants have a game in hand with the bungling league officials still undecided on the disciplinary outcome of the ill-fated match between Stars and Black Africa.
Orlando Pirates’ habitual wasteful striker Wilfred Saul Coetzee netted a second half beauty to give the Buccaneers a hard fought 1-Nil win over KM Eleven Arrows at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday.
The Ghosts are level on 15 points with Stars but the Reds’ superior goal difference keeps them above the rejuvenated Buccaneers who have now lifted themselves a notch up the ladder to 6th spot.
The star studded but rather underachieving Buccaneers suffered a string of mixed results since the opening of the current season but the arrival of Woody Jacobs seemed to have been the turning point in Pirates’ fortunes.
After only four matches at the steering wheel of the troubled ship, the relatively young and inexperienced mentor now boasts a remarkable repertoire of two wins, one defeat, and a draw – certainly not a bad start for the country’s hottest coaching job.
“Obviously, it was not going to be a piece of cake walking straight into the shoes of a seasoned coach like Sheperd Murape, but I immediately settled down and identified the shortcomings that bedevilled the rhythm of the team in the past,” said Woody.
“Pirates possess a massive wealth of talent, but the real problem was not about the quality of the playing staff, it was balance, we needed to strike a balance in all departments – Piratesare blessed with great midfielders but the defence was letting in easy goals while the strikers wasted inviting chances,” lamented the young coach.
Though it is still early days to predict the league winners, Woody is adamant the elusive league title remains the ultimate goal for the Ghosts this season.
“Look, we might be lingering somewhere in 6th place on the log standings but in my opinion the race for the coveted league title is still wide open because we are only 5 points away from the summit and as long as we can keep the momentum going and take one game at a time, anything can happen,” said Woody .
In yesterday’s action, Tigers’ much travelled new signing Wesley Kinda repaid the Donkerhoek Boys for the faith they showed in him after the talented but often wayward goal-poacher was offloaded by Ramblers during the transfer window recently.
Kinda, who had turbulent stints with Black Africa and Civics, netted the only goal of the match to steer the Ingweinyama to a 1-Nil win over a spirited but luckless APS Blue Waters outfit at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay.
Tigers’ coach Willem Kapukare, who also doubles up as national under-17 mentor, paid tribute to Blue Waters and said his team was extremely lucky to escape the wrath of the hosts and get away with maximum points.
“Their current log position is certainly not a true reflection of their strength, they really had us in all sorts of trouble and pinned us down in our own half for the better part of the match and had lady luck not turned her cheek on the coastal side, we could have easily returned home empty handed, but that’s the agony of football, the team that plays the best football does not always come out victorious.”
Smithley Engelbrecht heaved a huge sigh of relief when a misunderstanding between Mighty Gunners goalkeeper Bonsy Narib and usually reliable defender Robert Uirab gifted Black Africa a goal on a silver platter and brought the Katutura giants back in the picture.
Engelbrecht’s charges looked dead and buried with 10 minutes left on the clock and the men in uniform having taken a shock 2-1 lead mid- way through the second half in a 5-goal thriller played at the Ramblers Stadium in Windhoek yesterday.
Milton Eiseb opened the score sheet for the home team but Africa’s jubilation was short-lived when Gunners defender Robert Uirab, who played a blinder in the heart of the visitors’ defence, brought the teams level with a classic goal before the break.
The visitors took the lead after the changeover when Digugu Nanuseb side-footed a well measured cross from close range.
The goal seemed to have inspired Dawid Snewe’s boys who started making frequent visits into their opponents’ danger zone only to be let down by poor finishing.
Sensing defeat, the home side threw more bodies upfront in search of some face-saving goals and did not have to wait long when some sloppy defending resulted in an own goal – much to the annoyance of Snewe who almost sank under the dugout.
Veteran defender Masepo Dausab latched onto a clever through ball and beat the advancing Uirab with an angled shot from just outside the penalty box.
The hosts hung onto their slender lead and eventually came out 3-2 victors giving them the three maximum points at stake that saw Africa dismantling Arrows from third place with a superior goal average. Both teams boast 16 points from 10 matches.