Rundu Chiefs survives the axe for now

WINDHOEK; Rundu Chiefs Football Club (FC) were awarded another chance to fight for a stay in the Namibia Premier League (NPL) when it defeated Tigers FC 2-0 here on Saturday.

A defeat would have sent the Rundu-based outfit straight to the National North-Eastern First Division Stream next season.

In order to remain in the elite league, Rundu Chiefs have to win its games in the NPL promotional play-offs in Tsumeb next Saturday.

These promotional play-offs will be contested by North-Eastern Stream First Division runners-up Benfica FC from Tsumeb; North-Western Stream First Division runners-up Mighty Gunners from Otjiwarongo; Southern Stream First Division runners-up Rebels FC from Windhoek; and the team which ended 11th on the NPL log standing this season – in this case Rundu Chiefs.

Out of these four teams, only three will be promoted to the NPL plus the three First Division Stream winners – Juninho Sporting FC from Rundu; Touch & Go FC from Otavi; and Citizens FC from Windhoek.

These six teams will join the remaining 10 NPL teams. The Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) NPL will consist of 16 teams from next season onwards.

Rundu Chiefs coach John Sikerete told Nampa after the game his players put up a good fight against a resilient Tigers.

“They knew losing was not an option, because we would have been relegated to the First Division automatically,” he said.

Tigers’ coach Bobby Samaria told this agency that playing Rundu Chiefs was not any easy task, even though they (Tigers) wanted to end the league on a high note by winning.

“We started very well but the players did not have the mental strength and motivation to play today, because they already knew we will end up fourth – win or lose against Rundu Chiefs. Credit should be given to Rundu Chiefs as they were more hungry then us, and managed to score an early goal which killed my players’ morale, and we then conceded an own goal before half-time,” said Samaria.