Windhoek-Bragging rights will be highly at stake when MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) table toppers African Stars confront in-form league greenhorns Young African at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis tomorrow.
Despite being the NPL freshmen with little top-tier football history to boast about, Young African have in a short space of time proven and reminded all why they should be taken seriously as they have in recent times demonstrated their ability to become potential giant slayers.
With Stars heading into tomorrow’s clash with the ultimate aim of extending their lead atop the league table and hopefully continue with their perfect run, it will not be a walk in the park for ‘Starlile’ when they face the in-form and determined African.
Stars have shown in their last few outings that they have the required depth, the required attitude and killer instinct as well as the ability to find their way back into the match when you least expect them to – qualities African should be well cautioned of.
Although the two teams share little history, if any, tomorrow’s match will be all about bragging rights and the show of force. Within circles of local supporters, Young African’s ability to rise to the occasion against bigger teams has become a hot debate and Stars’ supporters are eagerly seeking to silence African fans with a resounding victory and hopefully put the debate to bed.
On his part, Young African mentor Mali Ngarizemo admitted that it will not be an easy battle against Stars but remained confident that his charges have the required knack to pull a surprise against the table toppers tomorrow.
“One really has to admit that Stars are a very strong side and equally have good experienced players, but come tomorrow, it will be about the three points at stake and we will go out full force to ensure we collect full points. It will not be easy, as Stars are currently unbeaten after eight rounds of matches and that clearly shows how strong they are, but I think we have what it takes to stop them. We can stop them if we stick to our game plan and not lose focus,” said Ngarizemo, who also played for Stars, Civics and South African outfit Black Leopards during his heyday.
Should they manage to manufacture a win against Stars tomorrow, African would be in touching distance of the top two log positions and thus Ngarizemo feels it will be equally important for them to bring their A-game to the Legare Stadium on Sunday, when they confront Civics, as a win will be vital.
Stars still top the log with 24 points, followed by the equally consistent Tura Magic in second place with 22 points, while Black Africa is third with 15 points and Young African is fourth with 13 points.
Ngarizemo added: “If you look at the league table, you will understand why it is important for us to collect maximum points on Saturday and Sunday because that will boost our chances of moving even within the top two or top three, depending on the performance of the other teams, but we will go out to collect maximum points.”
Also on Saturday, a mega-clash takes place in Tsumeb when Chief Santos welcome Orlando Pirates at the town’s Oscar Norich Stadium. Although both teams are somehow struggling to move out of first gear, as Pirates sit in 12th place with 8 points and Santos are stationed second from bottom with 7 points, a match between these two clubs always holds great historical significance and thus fireworks should be expected tomorrow.
Friday, November 24
Black Africa vs Civics (Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20h00)
Saturday, November 25
Young African vs African Stars (Legare Stadium at 15h00)
Blue Waters vs Tigers (Kuisebmund Stadium at 15h00)
Eleven Arrows vs Tura Magic (Kuisebmund Stadium at 17h00)
Unam vs Rundu Chiefs (Unam Stadium 15h00)
Citizens vs Mighty Gunners (Sam Nujoma Stadium at 15h00)
Chief Santos vs Orlando Pirates (Oscar Norich Stadium at 15h00)
Young Chiefs vs Life Fighters (Oshakati Independence Stadium at 15h00)
Sunday, November 26
Citizens vs Rundu Chiefs (Sam Nujoma Stadium at 15h00)
Unam vs Mighty Gunners (Unam Stadium at 15h00)
Blue Waters vs Tura Magic (Kuisebmund Stadium at 13h00)
Eleven Arrows vs Tigers (Kuisebmund Stadium at 15h00)
Young Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates (Oshakati Ind. Stadium at 13h00)
Chiefs Santos vs Life Fighters (Oscar Norich Stadium at 15h00)
Young African vs Civics (Legare Stadium at 15h00)