Citizens Have Wind in Their Sails

Newly promoted MTC Namibia Premiership campaigners Citizens lived up to their reputation as giant killers in the weekend’s semifinals in the lucrative Namibia Football Association (NFA) Biest Cup.

The Citizens surprised friend and foe by already rewriting the history books in becoming the first club from the lower division to reach the final of the prestigious Biest Cup, following their astonishing 2-0 win over Premiership outfit United Stars in the 1st of a double header at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, on Saturday. After a goalless first half, Henry Somseb and Jan Vleermuis netted a goal apiece for the Citizens.

In the other semifinal, Katutura glamour football club African Stars saw off Tura Magic by two unanswered goals to leave them 90 minutes away from a successful title defence.

Contrary to murmurings among the skeptics that Tura Magic might go into their semifinal clash against Stars at half pace in order to allow the Reds an easy passage into the final – Timo Tjongarero’s youthful brigade came out with guns blazing by manufacturing a stellar performance against their more fancied opponents.

It was arguably one of the most exciting football matches witnessed on local soil in a very long time as both teams adopted gly attacking approaches. The match started at a frantic pace with Stars in control of proceedings, allowing their opponents little room to settle down to their customary quick passing game.

Following a troubled week that saw them spending more time in courtrooms and around the green table rather than on the football pitch, Stars took just 19 minutes to register their opening goal through veteran midfielder Ninja Karongee (1-0).

Tura Magic upped their game and enjoyed the lion’s share of territorial aantage but found the Reds’ rock steady rearguard under the stewardship of new recruit Ferdinand Karongee in foul mood.

With both teams resorting to the huff and puff playing style, action was mostly confined to both sets of defence – leaving Magic’s dangerous gangling striker Alhassan Kalusha with the unenviable task of taking the bull by the horns.

But the beanpole Ghanaian import had the Stars defenders at sixes and sevens leading the entire rearguard on a merry-go-round when in possession of the ball but was badly let down either by his misfiring team-mates or the timely intervention of the wide-awake Slimkat Mbaeva between the sticks.

Magic eventually wrestled the initiative from Stars after the resumption of play and took the fight to their more fancied opponents. However, that oak door of Stars’ defence refused to yield under the barrage of attacks and held on determinedly.

Sensing danger, Reds mentor Woody Jacobs summoned Bradley Wermann and Ninja Karongee to make way for a fresh pair of legs in the shape of attacking midfielders Boetikie Seibeb and Riaan Cloete midway through the 2nd half.

The latter vindicated his late arrival as he casually unleashed the decisive killer blow in the referee’s optional time to steer the Reds to their 2nd consecutive appearance in the lucrative Biest Cup and looming presence in the newly introduced Standard Bank Super Cup that pits the league champions against the Biest Cup winners.

Source : New Era