By Carlos Kambaekwa
Hotspurs’ giant killing tag in the lucrative MTC NFA Cup competition could come to a premature halt after the ambitious lower division outfit was pitted against defending champions African Stars in the quarterfinals when the teams went into the hat at Soccer House yesterday.
The Southern Stream log leaders were responsible for APS Blue Waters’ early exit during the second round at Walvis Bay last weekend, and will be out to prove that their narrow victory over the coastal side was just not another flash in the pan.
However, the Reds are currently on the roll and should prove a different kettle of fish for their lower division opponents, but Gilbert Rwasoka’s charges would be well advised to underestimate Spurs at their own peril.
Spurs are the only non-Premier League side left in the country’s richest competition following the shock elimination of pre-favourites Orlando Pirates and Eleven Arrows, who have both joined Mighty Gunners, Oshakati City and APS Blue Waters on the casualty list.
Former champions Black Africa will have an uphill battle in the form of Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) in the opening quarterfinal match scheduled for Saturday at the Mariental Showgrounds Stadium.
In other action, Tigers will be out to avenge their successive defeats at the hands of rampant Ramblers – in the season’s pipe opener, the FNB Knock-out Cup and the first round league clash in which they surrendered a two-goal lead before bowing out 3 – 2.
Civics received a relatively easy passage to the semi-finals after the Khomasdal-based outfit were thrown a lifeline with a soft date against league strugglers Fedics United to complete the assignments in the quarterfinals.
The Sponsorships and Promotions Manager of MTC Amos Shiyuka, applauded Hotspurs for reaching the quarterfinals of the most sought-after competition in domestic football and challenged the national selectors to take a serious glimpse at the goal-scoring rate in this particular tourney – given the low scoring rate of the Brave Warriors’ habitual misfiring strikers.
The former Civics’ tough as steak defender nicknamed “the Rock of Gibraltar” during an illustrious career with the star-studded maroon and white outfit emphasized the fundamentals of the annual MTC NFA Cup and said.
“Our company in conjunction with the NFA Organizing Committee will continue to spread the competition in the outlying areas of the country – hence the staging of the quarterfinals at Mariental.
“As opposed to the past where we used to furnish only the last four teams in the competition with playing gear, we have now resolved to kit the teams out in the quarterfinals as well, in addition to the two finalists who will also receive a full playing gear and track suits.”
Shiyuka wishes the teams well and expressed hope that “fair play” will always prevail as usually pledged by the world’s football governing body FIFA.
Meanwhile, the Organizing Committee (LO) of the MTC NFA Cup has requested participating teams to ensure that they have alternative playing gear at all times to avoid the embarrassment of clashing colours as unwillingly witnessed during the second round matches at Walvis Bay last weekend.
– The MTC NFA Cup quarterfinals draw reads as follows:
Saturday, 26 April 2008 – Mariental Showgrounds Stadium
Black Africa vs Cymot SKW, 13h00
African Stars vs G/LTA Hotspurs FC, 15h00
Sunday, 27 April 2008 – Mariental Showgrounds Stadium
Tigers FC vs Ramblers 12h00
Fedics United vs