A Cut Above the Rest. … BA Prove Their Class in Standard Bank Super Cup

Undisputed Namibian football champions Black Africa once again underlined their supremacy with a flawless display against bitter rivals African Stars at a packed to the rafters Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.

The four-time MTC Premiership champions came from a goal down to dispatch Stars by 3 goals to 2 in an electrifying five-goal thriller to claim the inaugural edition of the newly introduced Standard Bank Super Cup, that pits the MTC Premiership champions against the Biest Cup winners.

Buoyed by a vociferous crowd clad in the club’s traditional red and white regalia, Stars opened the scoreboard with a well-taken goal via the boot of skillful midfielder Asprilla Wermann who sent the crowd into raptures with six minutes gone on the clock.

However, BA, popularly known as the King of Cups in local circles, managed to crawl their way back into contention when improvised winger Ananias Gebhardt drew the teams level with the first of his brace.

The goal seemed to ignite Stars who went in search of restoring their slender lead but the BA rearguard playing without stalwart defender Dacosta Angula for the first time since the burly defender left for greener pastures at the beginning of the current term – held firm and gave nothing away.

Although Stars enjoyed the upper hand in the early exchanges, wayward shooting was to be their downfall. The ever-alert Ananias, was on hand to punish sloppy defending with a powerful header from Denzil Haoseb’s tantalizing delivery to complete his brace that gifted the Gemengde outfit the lead for the first time in the match (2-1).

The goal was an absolute gem considering the impressive multi-phase build-up between Reds reject Muna Katupose and Ananias before the latter let fly with a canon-like left footer that left the Stars debutant shot stopper catching flies.

It was a game of two distinct halves with Stars on top in the opening stages while Brian Isaacs’ charges took complete charge in the second half. Parading a new look midfield combination led by Quinton Kuruseb (son of former BA midfield general Safe Kuruseb) and Mervin Areseb, recently signed from archrivals Orlando Pirates, Brian Isaacs’ charges took total control of proceedings in the middle of the park, with both Gebhardt and Haoseb causing havoc down the flanks.

Stars’ usually livewire winger, Guti Korukuve, had an off day at the office and rarely threatened. Unsurprisingly, he was among a number of players withdrawn by coach Woody Jacobs, as he brought on pairs of fresh legs in a desperate effort to salvage something out of the tie. The trio of McBride Ndjavera, Riaan Cloete and Meraai Swartbooi also found the going tough and could just not get into gear to ignite the Reds faulty engine room.

Sensing danger, the wide awake Isaacs unleashed lanky forward Kumbee Katjiteo and the gangling striker quickly vindicated his coach’s faith when he headed goal number three from another telling cross by man of the moment Haoseb, to all but put the result to bed (3-1).

Stars winger Lovers Kamuhanga made his long overdue return to competitive football after the much traveled winger was laid off through a career-threatening knee injury during the entire 20132014 season.

He showed some glimpses of old but could not find his way past the resolute BA defence. With time ticking by and the army of Reds’ fans casually vacating the terraces, Swartbooi gave the Reds a consolation goal from a well-struck free kick on the edge of the penalty box, leaving Sidwel Grootboom in the BA goal in no man’s land. Final score: BA 3 – 2 Stars.

Black Africa’s well deserved victory saw them smiling all the way to the bank with a fat cheque of half a million dollars for clinching the maiden edition of the Standard Bank Super Cup while runners-up Stars received a consolation prize of N$200 000.

Ananias was deservedly rewarded for his near faultless display with the man of the match award that came along with N$2 000, while Swartbooi’s astonishing free-kick earned him the moment of the match award and N$2 000 as well.

Source : New Era

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