Omusati Savour Cup Triumph

Omusati region jubilantly celebrated their crowning as the new champions of the Skorpion Zinc u-17 Cup on Tuesday, following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Hardap region at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

Speaking to Nampa after the game, Omusati region’s coach Shipena Nakalondo said the youth tournament went well for his team despite the many difficulties that they had to deal with ahead of the competition.

“We had some trouble with transport to Windhoek. After we managed to get a bus, I motivated the boys to focus on their game and now we are the champions of this second edition of the Skorpion Zinc Cup,” said Nakalondo.

He added that Hardap were stubborn opposition, especially in the first half.

“In the first half of our match against Hardap, they played long balls and we failed to take control of the game. But everything worked out well for us in the second half, as we started playing ground balls that made it very difficult for the Hardap Region to control the game,” he remarked.

Omusati beat Erongo 3-1 in the semi-finals early on Tuesday to book a spot in the finals, while fellow finalists overcame the defending champions Khomas 2-1 in the other semi-final.

The final saw two determined sets of players giving a good account of themselves, with scoring chances few and far between as the first half ended goalless.

In the second half, Omusati came out firing on all cylinders with the tournament’s best player Daniel Kamenya opening the score in the 60th minute.

Hardap fought back and equalised in the 78th minute through a goal by Brendon Kotungondo.

However, with only three minutes left on the referee’s clock Natanael Nghifikwa scored the winning goal for Omusati and they took the 2014 Skorpion Zinc Cup.

With the under-17 national crown secured, Omusati have already shifted their attention to the 2015 The Namibian Newspaper Cup – an under-20 tournament that Nakalondo believes his side can also win.

His counterpart Eduard Ortman of Hardap was philosophical in defeat, praising his players for their commitment to the cause.

“This was a big team-building exercise for me and the boys. I can’t believe we got this far in the tournament. Our boys are very small physically and we chose players even born in 2000 while most teams had players in the 1998 and 1999 age group,” he said.

He told Nampa that he will drop many of the older players from the team, and will only keep eight players from the current crop for next year’s Skorpion Zinc Cup.

Meanwhile, in the third place play-off, hosts Khomas proved too g for Erongo, thrashing their rivals 4-1.

On top of winning the N$20 000 winners’ prize, Omusati earned two further accolades.

Star forward Daniel Kamenya was voted Player of the Tournament and received a trophy, N$3 000 and a pair of Puma football boots.

Omusati also got the Fair Play Award.

The Top Scorer Award went to Hardap’s Kotungondo, who netted six times in the tournament.

He walked away with a cheque of N$2 000, Puma football boots and a trophy.

Otjozondjupa’s Abel Paulus claimed the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award, and he walked away with N$2 000, a trophy and Puma football boots as well.

Hardap got N$10 000 for finishing runners-up, Khomas received N$6 000 for third place, while Erongo took home N$4 000 for finishing fourth.

This was the second time that the u17 football tournament was hosted, with the first edition held at Keetmanshoop in the Karas region last year.

The tournament is sponsored by the Skorpion Zinc Mine in collaboration with the Namibia Football Association (NFA). The tournament involves 13 regional u17 football teams vying for the honours.

Nampa

Source : The Namibian