All the trauma of the last couple of weeks that threatened to throw the country’s august knockout cup tourney – the newly introduced Debmarine Namibia Cup – into turmoil, was temporarily put aside as action resumed with six of the country’s leading clubs from the elite football league notable absentees.
With no major surprises recorded on day one of the round of 32, all the big guns progressed to the next round, with the last 16 of the maiden edition of the annual competition, including defying NPL hotshots Unam, as well as Civics, Young Chiefs and Eleven Arrows all emerging unscathed with deserving victories.
Action got underway on Saturday and saw five clubs progressing to the next round of the competition with matches played at the astroturf Sam Nujoma Stadium and the Oscar Norich Stadium in Windhoek and Tsumeb, respectively.
Exciting Tseiblaagte youthful outfit Young Beauties negotiated their path to the next round at the expense of fellow lower-tier campaigners Rhino FC in an action-packed clash of the titans, where no quarter was asked or given.
The boys from ‘Kitmaro’ (Keetmanshoop) came out tops, dehorning the stubborn Rhinos, the Kavango East representatives in an adrenaline-pumping six-goal thriller. Beauties won the tie 5-3 in the dreaded penalty shootout after a three-all stalemate in regulation time.
Shortly afterwards, Ronnie ‘The Magnet’ Kanalelo’s Unam team confronted reigning Khomas champions Eleven Champions and the students were too good for their cross-town rivals and emerged 3-1 victors.
Unfashionable premiership outfit Young Chiefs and Kavango West’s Kantema Bullets locked horns in Tsumeb, but it was the premiership side that got the better of their opponents, claiming a hard-fought 3-2 triumph in a closely contested encounter.
Another premiership side, Eleven Arrows, thumped the out-of-sorts Ogongo United by eight unanswered goals in a one-sided fixture.
Former premiership campaigners Touch & Go defeated Oshikoto regional qualifiers Khuse FC 4-3 on penalties. The two teams were deadlocked at 2-all upon completion of their allocated 90-minutes in open play.
Unam, Young Beauties, Touch & Go, Arrows and Chiefs now join Bee Bob Brothers, Eastern Chiefs and Try Again in the next round. The trident of BBB, Chiefs and Try Again received byes into the next round, following the eleventh hour withdrawal of their scheduled opponents.
The next round of the Debmarine Namibia Cup continues next weekend on April 29 with the draw for the quarterfinals to be conducted in Windhoek in the course of this week