AFRICAN Stars and Ramblers played to a thrilling 1-1 draw on Saturday evening to remain at the top of the Namibia Premier League log. But defending champions Black Africa closed the gap on the leaders to one point after turning on the style with a 5-2 victory against Tura Magic on Friday night.
In other Round Six matches over the weekend, Orlando Pirates and Civics shared the spoils in a pulsating 2-2 draw, Blue Waters beat Tigers 3-0 in Walvis Bay, Eleven Arrows upset SKW 1-0 in Windhoek and Mighty Gunners beat Rundu Chiefs 1-0 in Rundu.
In a fast-paced top of the log clash, African Stars came out attacking and the impressive Riaan Cloete put them ahead when he stabbed home a cross by Edwin Korukuve on 13 minutes.
With Korukuve putting in some great crosses, Meraai Swartbooi and Clarence Foroma came close for Stars, but Ramblers also had their fair share of chances.
Former Stars striker Heinrich Kazerua shot narrowly wide after an attack by Larry Horaeb, while Emilio Martin had a shot cleared off the line just before halftime.
The action continued unabated in the second half as Ramblers substitute Immanuel Heita headed against the bar, while at the other end, Lukas Hashiti brought off two great saves from Foroma and Bradley Wermann.
Ramblers’ pressure paid off on 65m when Kazerua volleyed home a cross by Randall Goagoseb.
In the final stages, African Stars keeper Lloyd Kazapua saved well from Ricardo Tjiuoro and Kazerua, while at the other end, Foroma shot narrowly wide for Stars.
FIVE OF THE BEST FOR B.A.
Black Africa moved to within a point of Ramblers and Stars after an emphatic 5-2 victory against Tura Magic on Friday night.
The sides were still level at 1-1 at halftime but BA turned on the style with an irrepressible second-half performance to run out comfortable winners.
Innocent Tembo put Tura Magic ahead on 12 minutes with a 25-metre strike that BA keeper Jack Mabuku could only parry into the top of his net.
Black Africa struck back four minutes later when Roger Katjiteo headed in a lob by Bryan Bantam. They continued to attack with Katjiteo, Tara Katupose and Bryan Bantam all coming close to scoring.
BA took the lead barely two minutes after the restart after a fine individual goal by Katjiteo who dispossessed a defender, drew Collin Ndjai off his line and scored with a low shot into the corner of the net.
Tara Katupose had a shot cleared off the line before Bryan Bantam made it 3-1 on 63 minutes when he scored at the far post from a long cross by Katjiteo.
Tura Magic came back with Junias Theophilus forcing a great save by Mabuku, before Alhassan Kalusha made it 3-2 when he scored from a loose ball in the box on 76 minutes.
BA coach Brian Isaacs rang the changes, bringing on Eslin Kamuhanga, Marco van Wyk and Jerome Louis and Kamuhanga immediately made an impact on 79 minutes when he sent in a cross that Tara Katupose volleyed home.
Marco van Wyk headed narrowly wide from another Kamuhanga cross, before Kamuhanga made it 5-2 when he stabbed in a cross with five minutes to go.
Pirates, Civics draw
Orlando Pirates maintained their unbeaten run after an exciting 2-2 draw against Civics on Saturday.
Pirates took the lead on 32 minutes when Mervin Areseb headed in from a corner, but Heini Isaacks equalised on 53 minutes when he headed home a cross by Wangu Gome.
Pirates regained the lead through a cracking shot by Gustav Isaack on 63 minutes but Civics once again equalised on 77 minutes when Sadney Urikhob slammed home a cross by Penias Nzeve from an acute angle.
In the final minute, Civics had a goal by Bobby Kaapama disallowed for offside, while their captain Heini Isaacks had a rude awakening after the match when he discovered that his car’s window had been smashed, presumably by angry Pirates fans.
At the Independence Stadium, Eleven Arrows brought off a shock 1-0 victory against SKW, while Blue Waters thumped Tigers 3-0 in Walvis Bay.
In Rundu, Mighty Gunners beat Rundu Chiefs 1-0 after a 5th minute goal by Harold Ochurub.