WINDHOEK – A significant number of Namibian professional footballers plying their trade in foreign leagues are making serious statements with breath-taking performances week in and week out for their respective clubs.
However, none other has caught the eye more than former Tigers’ skilful net-buster Benson Shilongo, who has made scoring goals as easy as taking candy from a toddler in the highly competitive Botswana Premier League.
Recalled to the Brave Warriors squad for last month’s international friendly against Ghana in Kumasi, Shilongo gave a good account of himself after coming in as a second-half substitute for the tiring Henrico Botes.
His presence immediately injected the much-needed punch upfront as he ran rings around the defence, creating easy goal-scoring chances for his misfiring teammates.
Shilongo is highly rated in the Botswana league and is held in high esteem as the leading striker for his team Gaborone United, where he has been finding the net with regularity.
The Namibian confirmed his value when he netted the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 2-1 victory in the final of the lucrative Top 8 Mascom Cup against compatriot Jerome Louis’ Township Rollers in the city of Gaborone on Saturday.
Shilongo also walked away with the prestigious golden boot award after rattling the opposition’s net on no fewer than five occasions in the knockout tournament.
Across the Orange River, resurgent shot-stopper Virgil Vries once again kept a clean sheet for his South African Professional Soccer League (PSL) club Maritzburg United in their 1-0 away win against high-flying Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
Former Eleven Arrows and African Stars defender, Chris Katjiukua netted the opener in Lamontville Golden Arrows 5-2 mauling of Maluti FET in South Africa’s second tier league, the National First Division (NDF) to keep the Durban outfit’s hopes alive for a quick return to topflight football next season.
Incumbent MTC Premiership golden boot award holder, Ballack Somaeb, enjoyed a rare start for Freestate Stars in the hard fought 3-2 away win over Polokwane City while burly defender and fellow countryman, Dacosta Angula came on as a late second half substitute in the same match.
Brave Warriors inspirational skipper Stigga Ketjijere was on the receiving end, as his team Amatuks were humbled 2-0 by Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City on Friday.
The midfield anchorman had a quite game by his own standards and to compound the misery had his name entered into the referee’s crime sheet for a foul in the first half – subsequently failing to complete the 90 minutes, as he was withdrawn in the later stages of the match.