Tigers delays African Stars’ league win celebration

WINDHOEK: Tigers Football Club on Saturday beat Namibia Premier League (NPL) log leaders African Stars 2-1 and thereby delayed the latter from lifting the 2014/15 cup for one more day.

Going into the game, Stars needed a win to be crowned NPL champions and Tigers too needed to win to remain third on the log table.

Stars have 62 points – five points more than their nearest rival defending champions Black Africa.

Tigers have 52 points, while their competitors for the third place, Tura Magic, are fourth on 50 points with a game in hand.

Both sides created little chances of scoring goals, forcing a 0-0 stalemate after the first 45 minutes of play.

In the second half, Stars opened the scoring through Engelhard Kahua, who from outside the box, put the ball past Tigers’ goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua to land it in the upper-left corner.

Two minutes later, Tigers’ Letu Shatimwene equalised scores after the Stars’ defense failed to clear a goal attempt from Tigers’ Petrus Naftali.

Minutes later, Shatimwene was denied a second goal by Stars’ veteran goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha.

Tigers emerged as the more determined side, as they forced Stars in scoring an own goal when Freedom Puriza headed in a Petrus Angwena cross.

Stars continued to force another goal but their attempts were fruitless, ending the game 2-1.

Stars could be crowned champions on Sunday if they beat Rebels, who were relegated on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to the media after the game, Stars’ coach Woody Jacobs said it was an emotional game.

“We tried our best today but it was not good enough to win us the title. We will now turn our attention to tomorrow’s game with Rebels and I am not saying it will be a walk in the park but we still have a tough game on our hands to go through,” he said.

Tigers’ coach Bobby Samaria said his team is more determined to end third on the log and did not want to allow Stars to clinch the title at their expense.

“We knew the pressure was on Stars. In the first half we had too much respect for them as we just observed the game and did not do much, but all of that ended in the second half because we attacked more and maintained our hopes of ending third alive,” he said.

The match between African Stars and Rebels is scheduled for 13:00 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Sunday 03 May 2015, while Tigers will face Tura Magic at 15:00, at the same stadium.