It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Namibian footballers plying their trade in various leagues beyond the borders of Namibia, especially for those playing in the South African premiership.
Having already suffered a 2-0 defeat against Chippa United prior to last weekend’s league matches, Max Mbaeva, Deon Hotto and Chris Katjiukua’s Golden Arrows were last Friday expected to bounce back much stronger in their match against Ajax Cape Town.
Although the Brave Warriors trio all appeared in good shape as they featured in that vital clash, it was however Ajax who created more goal-scoring chances and their efforts finally paid off when an unmarked Ruzaigh Gamildien volleyed home from a corner kick in the first half, which however proved enough to hand Ajax a 1-0 victory.
Still in the South African premiership, Virgil Vries’s relegation-threatened Maritzburg United’s woes continued over the weekend when they lost 3-2 to log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. Vries did however not feature in that match.
Currently sitting 8th on the log on 21 points, Hendrik Somaeb and Da Costa Angula’s Free State Stars also lost over the weekend, losing 1-0 to a highly-determined Supersport United outfit at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, also on Saturday. Angula, who is said to have been sidelined by niggling injuries, did not feature while Somaeb came on as a 46th-minute substitute replacing Sello Japhta.
In Sunday’s action, still in the South African league, Brave Warriors former veteran striker Henrico Botes and Wangu Gome’s Bidvest Wits suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic in a thrilling encounter at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. None of the two Namibians featured.
Meanwhile, Brave Warriors skipper Stigga Ketjijere and Dudes Mwedihanga’s University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) endured a harsh day at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng near Rustenburg as they lost 2-0 to Platinum Stars, also on Sunday. Both Ketjijere and Mwedihanga played the entire match.
In the South African National First Division, Petrus Shitembi’s Amazulu finished the weekend on a high, demolishing Cape Town FC with a resounding 5-0 victory while Peter Shalulile’s Highlands Park also cruised to victory on Sunday beating Cape Town All Stars by 1-0.
Sadly for former Brave Warriors striker Rudolf Bester’s Moroka Swallows they ended the weekend on a rather disappointing note, losing 1-0 to Baroka FC.
In neighbouring Botswana, Benson Shilongo’s Gaborone United enjoyed an easy 3-1 victory over Miscellaneous FC in their BeMobile Botswana Premier League (BPL) clash on Saturday. The Brave Warriors stylish striker scored the opening goal.
Across the Mediterranean Sea and into the (Malta) Maltese Premier League (MPL), Namibian football wunderkind Ennio Hamutenya on Saturday helped his new club Naxxar Lions secure a much-needed 5-0 win over Qormi FC. Hamutenya joined Naxxar Lions on loan from Valletta FC, also a Maltese club, last November.
The 19-year-old Namibian, who late last year made history by becoming one of the country’s youngest players to sign a professional contract with a European club when he joined Valletta FC, is a younger brother to Miguel Hamutenya who plays for Hönefoss BK in the Norwegian first division.