Explosive Biest Cup Action Expected

The stage is set for some explosive cup action on Saturday when the remaining four teams battle it out in the Biest Namibia Cup semifinals at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Rundu-based United Stars take on newly-promoted Citizens in the first match at 15h00, while defending champions African Stars take on Tura Magic at 17h00.

With N$550 000 for the winner and N$25 000 for the runner-up, a lot will be at stake and all four teams are highly motivated and determined to win the main prize.

United Stars coach David Snewe said they were ready and determined to win the match.

“We had two objectives when I took over – to help the team stay in the Premier League and to go as far as possible and even win the Cup. Now I believe that if we can go to the semis, we can go all the way… we can progress, the spirit is very high and our dream of winning the Cup is still alive.”

Snewe was confident that they would beat Citizens, saying their players were not at the same level.

“I don’t know much about Citizens but the disaantage of the Windhoek teams is that the top Premier League clubs are always hunting for new talent at the smaller teams. So a team like Citizens, if they have really good players, the top NPL teams would have signed them already, so I cant see that Citizens will give us any trouble,” he added.

Citizens’ co-owner David Goagoseb said they were determined to make history.

“We want to make history by becoming the first non-NPL team to reach the final and we are looking forward to the game. From the more than 200 teams that started this competition, no one gave us a chance, but we have come this far and now the sky is the limit. It’s do or die for us and we’ll do the best we can,” he said.

Goagoseb however conceded that Stars would be better prepared for the match.

“We have done as much as we could to prepare. But our league ended two months ago so the Premier League teams will be better prepared than us.”

Stars, Magic in confident mood

Both Stars and Tura Magic are also confident of winning their encounter at 17h00.

The last time they met in the Premier League, Tura Magic beat Stars 3-1 on 7 March, shortly after Timo Tjongarero took over as coach of Tura Magic. But he said tomorrow’s game would be completely different.

“The Cup is a different competition and our mentality will be different. We must just go all out, but the most important thing is to stick to the game plan and play positive football,” he said.

“African Stars are the defending champions, so that will be extra motivation for us, and the chance to reach the final will be a huge incentive,” he added.

Tura Magic already won the NPL League Cup at the beginning of the season, but Tjongarero said they were still a small team.

“I think we are still a small team, this is only our second year in the Premier League, but now we have a chance to win the Cup and to finish fourth in the league. If we can achieve that then we can say that we have arrived.”

African Stars coach Woody Jacobs nearly had to miss the encounter due to his uncle’s funeral, but he spoke to his family and the players and decided to stay for the match.

“I can’t be with the family, I have a very important match coming up and discussed it with the team and my family. My thoughts are with my family but we have to go on,” he said.

Jacobs said they were not at their best in their league defeat against Magic, but were now determined to reach the final.

“We made a lot of mistakes in our 3-1 league defeat and were not mentally prepared, but this time we are ready to change that. For us it’s not so much about Tura Magic, we just need to focus on our game plan, go forward and score goals. We are very determined to reach the final.”

Jacobs said the fact that they were the defending champions did not add any extra pressure on him or the players.

“We are not focussing on the defending champions-tag, we see it as if we want to win the title for the first time. I wasn’t here last year and this will also be a first for a lot of my players, so we are ready and the players have an extra spring in their step,” he said.

“There is no pressure whatsoever, the players must just remain focussed and keep their feet on the ground,” he added.

Source : The Namibian