BA magic returns ahead of crucial derby: Kanalelo confident prior to potential title decider

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WINDHOEK – There is an old adage that you can’t keep a good man down and this is exactly what’s currently happening with Namibia’s most successful football club Black Africa.

A sluggish start to their league campaign this term, which led to the subsequent sacking of four-time championship mentor Brian Isaacs, obliged football pundits to prematurely start inking obituaries for the undisputed Namibian champions.

For all their early troubles, the reigning Namibian champions have hit the ground running under the tutelage of former blue-eyed-boy Ronnie Kanalelo.

Kanalelo’s wounded soldiers are back in form and have in recent matches surely sent a stern warning to their competitors that they have no intention to relinquish their precious MTC Premiership title, at least for the time being.

Convincing back-to-back victories over bitter rivals FNB Orlando Pirates and Mighty Gunners in recent outings have certainly reignited the club’s hopes of retaining the title and in the process rewrite the history books by claiming a 5th consecutive league title.

However, BA will face an acid test of character when they confront MTC Premiership log leaders African Stars in a potential title decider at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium tonight at 19h00.

Although there are still 24 points at stake before the curtain comes down on the 2014/2015 league campaign – tonight’s result could go a long way in determining the ultimate destination of the coveted league title, come end of the season.

Kanalelo commented: “It’s not how you start, but more importantly how you finish the business at the end of the season.

“We are well prepared and will go all out to get the three points at stake. It’s a six-pointer for both teams but the pressure is more on Stars than us. We have a clean bill of health and will definitely field our strongest side in the knowledge that a win will bring us closer to the summit. Nevertheless, we have a squad capable of chalking up a positive result.”

Stars’ overwhelming unassailable 12-point lead has suddenly been halved by six points and defeat against their eternal rivals will trim that tally further down to just three points.

Coach Woody Jacobs is very much aware of the repercussions of failure to fashion out a decent result in tonight’s clash of the titans.

“We relinquish the opportunity of playing against BA but we will approach the game as any other match because the league is a marathon and there are still seven matches left.

“Obviously, the pressure is on us but the fact they were in action playing two competitive matches last weekend could weigh in our favour in terms of freshness,” said Jacobs before admitting that he will be without the services of some of the club’s stalwarts.

The trio of defender Ferdinand Karongee (suspension), Dennis Tjetjinda (injured) and Riaan Cloete (bout of flu) will be notable absentees for tonight’s penultimate clash.

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