Tigers Crash Stars Party

African Stars’ MTC Premiership title celebrations were put on hold when they lost 2-1 to Tigers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Stars will now have to defeat relegated Rebels on Sunday in order to be crowned champions.

Alternatively, they may have to wait until the final round to be confirmed league winners should they fall short against Rebels and Black Africa, who beat Citizens 2 – 0 on Friday, win against Civics on Sunday.

An own goal from veteran defender Freedom Puriza 15 minutes from time ensured that Tigers edged the tightly fought contest.

After a drab first half, the match sprung to life in the second when utility player Engelhardt Kahua gave Stars the lead with a thumping strike 25 metres from goal.

However, Tigers, who had enjoyed the better chances up until that point, drew level five minutes later through mercurial playmaker Letu Shatimuene.

With their tails up, Tigers got their second goal thanks to the persistence of young striker Fillemon Nambele, who pressured Stars defender Ferdinand Karongee into conceding possession before whipping the ball into the box leading to Puriza’s miscued header.

Tigers coach Bobby Samaria said their rivals had put themselves under pressure by declaring they would be crowned champions on Saturday.

“From the onset we knew the pressure was on them. They publicly said they would clinch the title at our expense today. We decided that there was no way they were going to the title today at our expense so there’s no champagne to be popped tonight,” Samaria said of his former club.

In addition to criticising the referee, his counterpart Nicholas ‘Woody’ Jacobs admitted that his side withered under the weight of expectation.

“To be honest we were a little bit scared to make mistakes and we made mistakes. I don’t think there was a lot between the teams. At the end of the day it’s just bad luck and we have to win another game on another day [to claim the title],” said Jacobs.

“We wanted to win today and celebrate but we were made to wait. We have to lift these boys from another damaging defeat but rest assured, we will be champions,” he added.

BA beat Citizens to remain second

Meanwhile, Nampa reports that defending champions, Black Africa (BA), on Friday beat Citizens 2-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium to keep their number two position on the log table.

BA’s Muna Katupose scored both goals.

Throughout the 90 minutes game, BA controlled the match, but Citizens reacted with determination.

Playing on a rainy day, which came as a surprise as the rainy season usually ends mid-April, both teams gave it their all but luck was not on Citizens’ side as the game ended without any threat against the NPL champions.

BA are now second on the log stand with 57 points, five points behind Stars with two matches to play.

Speaking to Nampa after their victory, BA’s head coach Ronnie Kanalelo said his team played well and gave credit to his players for dominating the match.

He was however not happy with just the two goals, saying they could have scored more.

Kanalelo stated that they still want to win their two remaining games before the season concludes at the end of this month.

Saturday’s other results were as follows:

Orlando Pirates 1 United Stars 1

Blue Waters 3 Benfica 1

Eleven Arrows 0 Touch amp Go 2

Mighty Gunners 1 Julinho

Unam 1 Civics 1

Source : The Namibian