By Carlos Kambaekwa
Football fever is likely to hit its peak in both Keetmanshoop and Otjiwarongo as it marks the occasion for some of Namibia’s leading clubs to book their places in the last 16, while others will bid farewell to the country’s most sought-after competition this weekend.
With all the big guns having avoided each other when the 32 teams found their way into the hat for the 2007/2008 draw of the lucrative MTC NFA Cup, it will be a case of David up against Goliath and few surprises cannot be ruled out at this juncture.
Tomorrow sees Aranos Football Club travelling to the Southern capital Keetmanshoop for their penultimate clash against Hotspurs with former champions Ramblers pitted against Deportivo Alaves in what should be another routine assignment for the star-studded Tunchel Street outfit.
MTC Namibia Premiership rookies Fedics United are poised to advance through to the quarterfinals at the expense of Friends, while Black Africa could face some resistance in the form of Young Beauties who can heavily count on home support to upset bookmakers.
The trio of Mighty Gunners, Tigers and Oshakati City are the only Premiership teams in action at Otjiwarongo tomorrow.
Julinho SP Football Club will lock horns with Tough Guys and Tigers could prove tricky customers for their lowly opponents Young Eleven. Oshakati City will be hoping to strike the right chord and find some consistency after an indifferent start to their league campaign this season.
City have a date with Pubs and action continues with Black Hawks squaring up against Monitroni College while there will be little brotherly affection between Eleven Brothers and United Stars.
Rundu Chiefs complete tomorrow’s line-up under floodlights as the once far northern glamour football club face Dawid Snewe’s Mighty Gunners in what promises to be the pick of the day.
Civics’ under-fire new mentor Ricardo Manetti should start finding a winning formula seriously soon if he is to escape the wrath of the generally impatient club owner Helmuth Scharnowsky, who is quite capable of showing his subjects the nearest exit door at the slightest provocation.
The Civilians are still smarting from last weekend’s defeat at the hands of unfashionable Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) in an important MTC Namibia Premiership clash in the capital last weekend.
Major Power will certainly need more than mere willpower to overcome the rampant Maroon and White stripped outfit which boasts in Jamu Ngatjizeko and Bryan Brendell, two of the finest footballers in the domestic setup.
Coastal giants K.M Eleven Arrows should be too strong for Newcastle United while APS Blue Waters are still searching for that elusive win since the start of the season that has seen the once mighty Birds lingering dangerously at the notorious location on the MTC Namibia Premiership log standings.
The low-flying birds are expected to bring along enough armoury if they are to shield themselves from the barrack of attacks at the hands of Vietnam Rangers should the lower division campaigners live up to their first name.
After well-deserved back-to-back victories, Orlando Pirates’ confrontation with Onambula United should just be another Sunday afternoon stroll in the park for the fired-up Buccaneers.
Defending champions African Stars, buoyed lately by the explosive form of talented but often temperamental midfielder Ninja Karongee, will have to pull all stops if the Reds are habouring any aspirations of bringing a premature end to Golden Bees’ party-spoiling habits in what should be a real humdinger at Stars’ somewhat happy haunting ground.
This season’s MTC Namibia Premiership surprise package SKW will be looking at transforming their current league form into cup competition when the Germans come up against former champions Chief Santos in what should be the pick of the weekend’s matches.
Santos have been boosted by the arrival of prodigal son Steven Tjeenao and could prove a tough nut to crack with hundreds of supporters from the Copper town expected to make the short journey to Otjiwarongo in anticipation of victory for their beloved team.