Windhoek-Otjiwarongo-based Mighty Gunners Football Club made the most of their home ground advantage to book a place in the final of the lucrative Debmarine Namibia Cup.
The men in camouflaged uniform defeated pre-tournament favourites Tura Magic by two unanswered goals in an otherwise entertaining semifinal at Mokati Stadium in Orwetoveni township at Otjiwarongo on Saturday.
The soldiers, who had forgotten man Pineas ‘Heel Extension’ Jacobs in their armoury, proved too strong for their premiership rivals and were the first to break the deadlock after a goalless first half.
Discarded Brave Warriors speedy forward Jacob, who also had an unsuccessful stint with Amazulu in the South African Professional Soccer League (PSL), followed by cameo roles at Black Africa, returned to action and showed that he still has some football left in his veins.
The former Tigers and Ramblers lethal goalpoacher opened the scoreboard to give the men in camouflaged uniform a well-deserved lead in the second half, before teammate David Gabriel all but put the result to bed with the second goal of the match.
As much as they tried to crawl their way back into contention, the Magicians could not break the resolute Gunners’ rearguard. In the end, the hosts were the deserved winners and to put the cherry on top of the cake, Robert Uirab walked away with the prestigious Man of the Match award that comes with a cash prize of N$2,000.
In the other semifinal, Young African saw off Young Chiefs with an identical score line (2-0) to set up a mouthwatering final against Mighty Gunners. Enterprising striker Uauaa Kamberipa and Elvis ‘Presley’ Katire were both on target for the Cattle Country outfit.
Kamberipa registered his name on scoresheet in the first half, with Katire returning the compliment with a clinical finish with almost the last touch of the ball to propel the NPL rookies to the final. Kaovisa Hengombe was voted Man of the Match.
A delighted Mighty Gunners gaffer Gebhardt Washa-Washa Hengari could not hide his excitement, saying their game plan worked perfectly.
“We absorbed the pressure. I told my boys to wait until they opened up and they did just that in the second half. I was surprised with their fitness levels, not what I’ve expected, because they couldn’t keep up with us as the match progressed. So, we got the goals and are through to the final now”, Hengari enthused.
He added that they would not take their opponents in the final, Young African, lightly as reaching the final will be a motivating factor for his players.
“In the final of any competition as prestigious as this particular Cup, your players are motivated to do well and certainly don’t need a second invitation. You just have to get the tactics right. But taking nothing away from Young African, they worked hard for their place in the final and we cannot underestimate them”.
Both Mighty Gunners and Young African will receive an increased N$30,000 for travel and preparatory allowance, while the Man of the Match in the final will walk away with N$5,000. The man of the Match will also be afforded an opportunity to select a charity of his choice for an equivalent amount.
– Additional info nfa.org