By Carlos Kambaekwa
Oshikandela Ramblers Football Club have a score to settle with hoodoo team Civics when the two cross-town rivals face each other in the first of a double header MTC NFA Cup semi-final at the Khomasdal Stadium in Windhoek tomorrow (15h00).
Both teams are eager to clear the last hurdle before hitting the homestretch and set up a date with either defending champions African Stars or Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) for the lucrative first prize of the Annual MTC NFA Cup.
Despite the wealth of talent in its playing personnel – Ramblers have been struggling to overcome the Civilians in as many confrontations, with the odd draw in league encounters its only consolation so far.
Victory for the Tunchel Street Boys will keep them on course for a treble after winning the season’s pipe opener, the FNB Knock Out Cup, while they still remain very much in contention for the elusive MTC Namibia Premiership title.
After a shaky start to their league campaign this season, the Civilians appear to have rediscovered the form that saw them winning three consecutive league titles and will be out to topple the star-studded but under-achieving Ramblers outfit from the pedestal.
Defending champions African Stars take on the defence-minded SKW in the last semi-final at the same venue (17h00). On current form, the Reds should have the edge over their unfashionable opponents.
Stars suffered a slight dip in form that saw them slump to a heavy defeat at the hands of Orlando Pirates and subsequent lukewarm showing against lowly-place opponents.
However, Gilbert Rwasoka’s lads dusted themselves off and put up a great performance when they came back from the dead to force a draw against Civics in their last competitive match.
The wheels of fortune seem to be coming off the German’s fairytale run at an alarming speed, and it would need a Herculean act to get past the uncompromising Stars’ rearguard who will be minus inspirational captain Andrew “Jaws of Life” Tjahikika. The reliable defender dislocated his shoulder in his team’s drawn match against Civics last Sunday and is a doubtful starter for tomorrow’s clash of the titans.
Pirates Eye First Spot Again
Elsewhere, Pirates will have a chance to reclaim first spot in the MTC Namibia Premiership when the smooth-sailing Buccaneers ship take on Tigers at the Khomasdal Stadium on Sunday (15h00).
Tigers are certainly out of contention for the coveted league title, but the Donkerhoek Boys will have a bigger say in the destination of the league crown – come end of the season, if last weekend’s showing against Ramblers is anything to go by.
Nobody gave them a slight chance against Ramblers but Willem Kapukare’s charges made the doubting Thomasses sit and eat humble pie when they handed Ramblers their third league defeat this season – in the process paving the way for Pirates to occupy first spot in the log standings.