WINDHOEK – Both Tura Magic and Civics football clubs started their assault in this season’s MTC Premiership campaign with a bang – going on a good run that saw them shine in the top four of the log standings.
However, a recent run of mixed fortune has seen them drop a massive deficit of 10 points adrift of log leaders Tigers. Bertus Bock’s Tura Magic greet the Civilians in a catch-up mid-table MTC Premiership clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tonight at 20h00.
Both teams suffered unexpected defeats against lowly opponents in last weekend’s action and will be eager to rectify matters at the expense of each other. Tura Magic fell victim to Eleven Arrows (2-0) while the Mighty Civilians were heavily brought down to mother gravity via a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of basement sitters Rundu Chiefs.
Victory for either side will see them leapfrog league rookies PC Blue Boys into 5th place on the log standings on 13 points, one point adrift of 4th placed FNB Orlando Pirates.
With their eyes firmly fixed on the final league outings before closure of the year this weekend, both sets of players will be out to finish the year on a high note and tonight’s clash could go a long way in cementing their status in the country’s topflight league as both teams are just sitting 5 points above the relegation zone.
In the corresponding fixture last term, Tura Magic came out tops with a 1-0 triumph and inflicted more woes on the Civilians and even went a step better with a resounding 3-0 hammering in the 2nd round to record an astonishing double over their more illustrious opponents in only their first season in the country’s elite league.
If past statistics are anything to go by, Bertus Bock’s outfit will go into tonight’s clash as clear favourites and full of confidence to collect the maximum points at stake.
“I’m expecting an interesting match due to the fact that both teams lost their last matches and would like to win to maintain momentum,” said a fired-up Bock.
Apart from hard-galloping midfielder Robert Nganjone, Magic have no injury worries or suspensions and Bock has promised to field his strongest possible lineup despite the fact that they will be back in action on Saturday.
However, in Christy Guruseb, the Civilians have one of the shrewdest coaches in the business and the soft-spoken likeable mentor can still take solace from the fact that those results were recorded in his absence.
“What happened last season is in the past, it will be a different ball game this time round. We respect Tura Magic as a good team but don’t fear them and will approach the match with the usual winning mentality,” enthused Guruseb.
The Civilians will be without the services of utility centre back Donnelly Nell, who is out with a long-term injury while doubts hang over the fitnessof both Moses Katjiteo and Erwin Afrikaner. The pair face a late fitness test ahead of tonight’s penultimate clash.
By Carlos Kambaekwa