Pirates, Tigers Clash in Season Finale

The Namibian soccer season comes to a close on Saturday when Orlando Pirates and Tigers battle it out for the Biest Namibia Cup trophy and the N$550 000 winning cheque.

At a press conference in Windhoek on Wednesday, Theo Mberirua of the sponsors Biest Namibia said that their sponsorship of the competition will also come to an end on Saturday.

“It is sad that it has to come to an end because it has been a wonderful competition and I hope it has contributed to the development of soccer in Namibia. We cannot claim credit for the success of the Brave Warriors, but some players like Deon Hotto came to prominence through this competition three years ago. We hope the NFA will secure sponsorships soon so that the competition can continue in years to come,” he said.

“We need more competitions like this to ensure that soccer develops in Namibia – it will motivate all the teams more and will give them a chance to stake their claim,” he added.

Mberirua said they enjoyed working with the NFA and their decision to end the contract had nothing to do with the soccer body.

“When we signed the contract we made it clear that it was a three-year agreement. Biest Namibia is operating in many corners of Namibia so we have a much broader social responsibility than just soccer. We put our resources into soccer for the past three years, so its got nothing to do with the NFA we are happy with the mileage we received, but we are moving on now,” he said.

Both teams meanwhile expressed confidence of winning the title on Saturday.

Pirates’ coach Lucky Kakuva said they had displayed the right temperament to win the title.

“Throughout the tournament we showed that we have the necessary big match temperament. We faced massive challenges along the way but we beat African Stars and Black Africa, so that indicates that we are the team for the big moment. Winning is the only thing that matters and we intend to do that on Saturday,” he said.

Tigers coach Bobby Samaria said they would do their talking on the field.

“Orlando Pirates are very confident, and their coach previously said that they are unstoppable, but that’s only his opinion. We won’t talk about winning the cup now because football will be played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium and not here in the boardroom,” he said.

Samaria also called on the fans of both teams to show their support and fill the stadium.

“This competition is very important for the development of football in Namibia. The product we sell has different stakeholders, and without the fans it will be incomplete. So I’d like to ask the fans to not only support their team but to come out and support the product so that the tournament will be a success,” he said.

According to Samaria, their goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua and midfielder Absalom Imbondi were still struggling with injuries but he hoped they would be ready for the final.

Pirates’ Zimbabwean midfielder Knowledge Mutyoraringa is also struggling with an injury, but Kakuva is also hopeful that he will be ready.

“Knowledge is a key player but he is recovering and I hope he will be ready. Otherwise everyone is ready and they all want to play so it will be up to me to decide who to choose,” he said.

Tigers’ captain Pekka Hamukwaya said it was their time to shine.

“Tigers have waited a long time to be in the final, it’s been 19 years now, but this is our time and as my national coach said in South Africa, now we are ready.”

The vice captain of Pirates, Volten van Staden said they were ready and confident of lifting the trophy.

“We are most definitely ready, the spirit in the camp is high and we all want to play.

We also want to win this for our supporters so I’d like to call on them to come out in their numbers to support us,” he said.

Saturday’s final will start at 14h30 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, while tickets are available through Computicket and at the NFA’s Soccer House in Katutura.

The winning team will receive N$550 000 and the runners-up N$220 000.

The top goalscorer as well as the player of the tournament will each receive N$25 000, while the man and coach of the match will each receive N$5 000.

Source : The Namibian