UNAM wins pre-season tournament

University of Namibia (UNAM) Football Club were crowned champions of a pre-season tournament after beating African Stars 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the end of the match.

The tournament, which was organised by Stars saw seven-team take part in the tournament which kicked off on Friday and ended on Sunday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

These teams were Stars, Unam, Citizens, Life Fighters, Okahandja United, Eleven Arrows and Blue Waters.

The teams were drawn into two groups of four and three clubs respectively.

The first match on Friday saw Unam emerge victorious when they beat Citizens by a 2-0 scoreline before Arrows beat Okahandja United by 1-0.

The last match of the night saw Stars beat Life Fighters via a brace by Tara Katupose for a 2-0 scoreline.

On Saturday Unam beat Okahandja United 4-3 before Stars and Waters played a goalless draw.

Citizens lost their second match of the tournament, falling 3-1 to Arrows who registered their second match before Fighters beat Waters 1-0 in the last game on Saturday.

On Sunday, the two top teams in group B Unam and Arrows played a goalless draw, a result which saw the Clever Students progress into the final to meet Stars.

The final which was played in a pedestrian pace had nothing to offer as both teams lacked inspiration.

Unam were the first to find the back of the net through gangling former Civics player Quinton Kharuseb, who finished off a beautiful cross from Hija Katjivena in the 19th minute.

It didn't take long for Stars to draw level when Image Isacks rattled the back of the net from inside the 18-yard box after the Unam defence left him unattended in the 26th.

Both teams went into the halftime break tied at 1-1, and could not produce anything to write home about, with Unam emerging as victors following a penalty shootout.

One of the organisers of the tournament Salomo Hei hailed it as a resounding success saying the aim was to give players a chance to gain some much-needed match fitness.

We are happy with the attendance especially on Saturday, the fans enjoyed the matches, and the players gave their best even though they were a bit rusty. We had four teams from outside Windhoek which is a sign of how serious clubs are with football, Hei said.

He also said similar tournaments are likely to take place in Windhoek and at the coast if the regular Namibia Premier League (NPL) season does not start soon.

The tournament was independently organised by the teams as a way of giving their players the much-needed fitness seeing that the NPL is currently inactive.

Source: Namibia Press Agency