Namibia’s oldest football club Tigers finally ended a 19-year cup drought when they defeated Katutura rivals FNB Orlando Pirates 4-2 in the dreaded penalty shootout in the final of the Bidvest Cup at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
In what was billed as the final edition of the lucrative Bidvest Namibia Cup, the two bitter rivals huffed and puffed and could only muster a goal apiece in a dull first half of a poorly attended match. With the Ghosts’ faithful dwarfing the few Tigers diehards, the match failed dismally to live up to its top billing with a significant number of spectators exiting the stadium by halftime to watch the live televised COSAFA Cup final between the Brave Warriors and Mozambique.
It was a see-saw affair in the opening stages with no team creating any serious goal-scoring chances with midfield action dominating proceedings.
Veteran attacking midfielder Letu Shatimuene combined brilliantly with co-midfielders Absalom Iimbondi and Simon Shikolola and had their Buccaneers counterparts working overtime.
On the other hand, the Ghosts’ Zimbabwean import Knowledge Mutyoraringa ably assisted by the trio of Brandon Goagoseb, Enrico Hoebeb and Gustav Isaack were not to be outdone either, and held their own in the middle of the park.
Ingwe were the first to break the deadlock through the educated boot of the club’s leading goal scorer Fillimon Nambele. However, the lead did not last long as the Ghosts were awarded a penalty for a handball. Up stepped Goagoseb who beat Lloyd Kazapua hands down from the spot kick to bring the teams on level terms again (1-1).
Irked by his team’s wayward finishing, Tigers coach Bobby Samaria unleashed Protash Kabwe at the restart to inject more steel in the firing line. His opposite number Luckey Kakuva responded by introducing Marcello Haraseb and veteran midfielder Brian Gurirab, as both coaches tried in vain to salvage something from the tightly contested encounter.
The multiple substitutions yielded very little positives, if any, as the match ended 1-all after extra time with the result having to be decided through the lottery of a penalty shootout.
As fate would have it, Haraseb and Van Staden had their spot kicks saved by the acrobatic Kazapua.
For Tigers, Letu Shatimuene, Petrus Naftal, Kennedy Amutenya and Abasolom Iimbondi all converted their spot kicks while Mutyoraringa and Musambani were on target for Pirates.