By Carlos Kambaekwa
First half strikes by Democratic Republic of Congo striker Browers Litanga-Litombo and his Zimbabwean striking partner Silver Suriyari, put African Stars in the driving seat in their penultimate clash against league rookies Mighty Gunners in the first of a double header at the Ramblers field on Saturday.
Litombo got his name on the score sheet in the 10th minute and Suriyari added the second 10 minutes later to give the Reds a comfortable 2-goal lead going into the break.
Dawid Snewe’s men in uniform pulled a goal back deep into the second half through Robert Nanuseb and looked poised for a remarkable comeback until the arrival of veteran African Star’s lethal marksman Nico Andima.
The ageing net rattler was hardly on the pitch when he powered home his team’s third goal from close range – connecting with Ley Musambani’s well-measured centre, to all but fuse off any hopes Gunners might have entertained of upsetting their more fancied opponents.
The victory moved the Reds alongside Tigers on 18 points each but the Donkerhoek Boys remained in 7th place because of their superior goal difference against Stars who still have a match in hand.
Elsewhere, Brian Isaacs crowned his 2nd spell with the troubled Orlando Pirates with a well deserved win over Oshakati City at the SKW stadium that saw the Buccaneers leapfrog both Black Africa and Eleven Arrows into third place – 6 points adrift of Ramblers on the Namibia Premiership log standings.
After a goalless first half, Zambian import Chipela Chipela gave the restless supporters of the Ghosts something to cheer about when he scored a beauty in the second half before defender Eric Aoseb out-jumped a flatfooted City defence and headed powerfully after connecting with Klaas Blom’s copybook delivery to stretch the Buccaneers’ slender lead.
Defending champions Civics got their fading title aspirations back on track with a hard fought 2 -1 away victory over Eleven Arrows at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday.
The undisputed league champions, who started round 13 in unfamiliar territory – 6th spot to be precise – are now sharing 4th place with Black Africa on 21 points each, while Arrows dropped further down the pecking order to 6th place – 8 points behind title chasing Ramblers.
Black Africa’s title aspirations were slightly dented when Smithley Engelbrecht’s charges squandered numerous goal scoring opportunities and had to settle for a disappointing 1-all stalemate against Tigers at the Khomasdal Stadium on Friday evening.
And while there has been significant changes in the top 8 bracket,- the battle for survival in the country’s top flight football continues with last year’s runner up Oshakati City living dangerously in the bottom half of the table – a mere 3 points above the relegation zone, whilst Gunners remain two points from safety.
Fedics United looked destined for a quick retreat to the Nationwide 2nd tier league – leaving the remaining spot for either once glamour coastal outfit Blue Waters or Gunners while City are keeping a close watch on the proceedings in the basement.