n Otniel Hembapu
WINDHOEK – Treasure Kauapirura was the hero when he came off the bench in 75 minutes in Saturday’s exhilarating Debmarine Cup final to head home the winning goal in African Stars’ 1-0 victory over UNAM at a fully packed Sam Nujoma Stadium in the capital.
With Stars having already won the MTC Premiership last month, Saturday’s Debmarine Cup victory was the perfect icing on the cake, as they completed their 2017/18 season double, winning both the league and the FA Cup.
The experienced Kauapirura replaced Alfeus Handura at the start of the second half and in 75 minutes, he connected well with an Aubrey Amseb corner kick to bury the ball into the back of the net with a glancing header, sending hundreds of Stars’ vociferous supporters in raptures.
The two sides came into the match cautious and well aware of taking chances and avoiding mistakes at the back and Stars had Ronald Ketjijere and Handura in midfield, against the promising and reliable Marcell Papama and captain Heinrich Isaacks, while in attack Amseb and Panduleni Nekundi were supported by Godwin Jena and Edwin Korukuve for Stars.
Tara Katupose led the line for UNAM with his supporting cast comprising of Papama, Manchester United McGyver and Bornface Siyanga.
Try as they may, the only chance of the first half came midway with Ketjijere letting one go from range only for Charles Uirab in the UNAM goal to tip it over for corner kick.
In the second half, Papama and Isaacks wasted free kicks in promising positions while McGyver was also guilty of holding onto the ball for too long.
UNAM also had a glorious chance to force the game into extra time when Edmund Kambanda found space in the box and his first time shot was miraculously kept out by Mbazuvara’ s right leg and cleared for safety in added time. But in the end, Kauapirura’s goal proved enough to hand Stars a deserved victory.
It was Stars and their coach Bobby Samaria who repeated a season double they last achieved in 2010, as they lifted the 2018 Debmarine Cup and walked away with N$ 500 000 while UNAM were consoled with N$ 250 000.
Godwin Jena of Stars and Civics’ Donald Geiseb shared the Top Goal scorer award each receiving N$ 10 000 for their respective eight goals apiece, while Samaria got the Coach of the Tournament award that comes with N$ 15 000.
Mbazuvara won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award (N$ 15 000) while Papama is the Player of the Tournament (N$20 000). Referee Nehemia Shovaleka got the Referee of the Tournament award (N$ 10 000) and his assistant Isaskar Boois, the Assistant Referee of the Tournament accolade (N$ 10 000).