The Pressure is Back on Tigers

The MTC Premiership title race is developing into a fascinating battle with Tigers and Black Africa emerging from the pack as the most likely champions in waiting.

On Wednesday night BA joined Tigers at the top of the log on 31 points after beating Civics 1-0, to open up a gap of five points over third placed African Stars.

BA however have a match in hand on Tigers, with the result that the pressure will be firmly back on Tigers when they take on Ramblers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday night.

In Ramblers they face a resurgent team that is still unbeaten after previous coach Jerry Zimmer resigned and technical director Jorge de Purificacao took over the coaching duties on 9 February.

At that stage Ramblers were languishing in the relegation zone, but since then they have gone on an unbeaten run of five matches, winning three and drawing two, to move up to seventh position on the log.

They have also strengthened their defence with the recent acquisition of former Brave Warrior, Oliver Risser and with players like Donovan Swartz, Immanuel Heita, Lucky Kooper and Amy Savihemba in good form, are sure to test Tigers.

After leading the log for the first round, Tigers have not been so dominant in the second round, allowing BA to close the gap.

On February 22 they squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against United Stars and a fortnight later they suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat against Blue Waters.

They however responded in style to these setbacks, beating Civics 2-1 and Eleven Arrows 2-0, and with their potent strike force including the likes of Kaka Nekundi, Benson Shilongo, Protash Kabwe, Absalom Iimbondi and Petrus Naftalie they should start the match as favourites.

On Saturday, Black Africa travel to the coast to take on Eleven Arrows in Walvis Bay. Arrows are second last on the log and with the relegation axe looming, will be fighting for survival. They however don’t have the depth and quality of BA and will do well to take anything from the match.

At the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday, Tura Magic host United Stars at 16h00 while Orlando Pirates host struggling Rundu Chiefs at 19h00.

On Sunday the pressure will be on African Stars to remain in the title race when they host a rejuvenated Blue Waters at the Independence Stadium at 17h00. The coastal side has won two of its last three matches under new coach Paulus Shipanga, including a stunning win against Tigers, and will be a tough nut for Stars to crack.

The first match at the Independence Stadium at 14h00 on Sunday will see Civics taking on Blue Boys.

Source : The Namibian