It’s in Our Hands – Isaacs

Muna Katupose and Ananias Gebhardt all but guaranteed Black Africa a fourth consecutive Namibia Premier League title when they scored to hand the defending champions a 2-0 win over bitter rivals Orlando Pirates on Friday.

The victory, secured after a bruising Katutura derby at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, puts them six points clear of African Stars and Tigers at the top of the log, while Pirates remain fourth, eight points off the pace.

“We are in the driving seat. It’s in our hands. We can blow it. But at this stage if we manage it well then we can pull through,” said Black Africa coach Brian Isaacs.

His opposite number Ali Akan concurred, conceding that their title race was run and that BA will again claim the top prize.

Tigers’ title challenge is also waning after they were held 2-2 at relegation-threatened Blue Boys.

However the Buccaneers could reduce the deficit on BA with two rounds to go, if they win their abandoned match against African Stars rescheduled for this evening.

“Congratulations to BA. I think BA are already on their way to winning the league,” Akan said. “Let’s be honest, if we get the [African] Stars points then we are five points behind.

“BA we know are the champions of the country and have very good players. It’s very difficult to catch them.

“Mathematically yes [we can catch up with BA], but realistically it’s very difficult. If we had won this game, then yes, we had a great chance but unfortunately we gave the chance away,” said Akan.

The derby was a high octane affair dominated by robust challenges, one of which led to the second half dismissal of Pirates centre back Ivan Makina after he clashed with BA winger Willy Stephanus and left him with blood streaming from the face.

“You will never get clean derbies because of the rivalry. Most of the players are very tense during these games,” said Isaacs.

“That’s why you get rough tackles and things like that. But I told my players to be calm. At times we were also frustrated but [in the end] we managed to pull through.

Akan said Makina’s conduct was deplorable and that the match as a whole lacked the desired quality for an encounter of its magnitude.

“It was a fifty-fifty game. Good football? I don’t think so,” said Akan. “Makina got sent off when we were trying to come back in the game for an unnecessary tackle. So it made the game more difficult for us with 10 men.”

Meanwhile Eleven Arrows appear to have lost their battle for Premiership survival, after going down 2-0 to Tura Magic, while second-last Rundu Chiefs lost 1-0 at home to mid-table Civics as Blue Waters thumped United Stars 5-1.

Source : The Namibian