New Era (Windhoek)

3 December 2012

Namibia: Brilliant Awilo Inspires BA

Windhoek — Reigning Namibian champions Black Africa have sent a serious warning to their title rivals that they have no intentions of relinquishing their most prized asset, at least not for the time being.

A piece of individual brilliance by slippery midfielder Awilo Stephanus lifted the hopes of the Gemengde-based faithful of claiming a 3rd consecutive league title. BA waltzed past Civics in a most entertaining football match.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but one is obliged to conclude that the way Brian Isaacs' charges went about their business on Friday evening - they could have easily beaten any team on the African continent.

Slick movements, accurate passing, vision and well-orchestrated deft touches on the ball were the order of the day by the fired-up champions as they destroyed their opponents in all facets of the game. BA took control of the proceedings from the first whistle with Stephanus always in the thick of things.

The mercurial midfield ace opened the scoring for the defending champions when he unleashed a grass cutter from an acute angle to give BA the lead midway through the first half. A few minutes later, fellow midfielder Klaas Blom went on a slalom run in tandem with Stephanus and Muna Katupose, before he got to the end of the final pass to slot home a gem of a goal from close range (2-0) - leaving Pitso Tjiuoro in Civics' goal catching air.

From then, it was one-way traffic with BA's shot stopper Arnold Subeb reduced to a virtual spectator as the Civilians found it hard to break through a veritable Berlin wall, which was guarded by ageing defender Hartman Toromba and the burly Da Costa Angula.

Enterprising Botswana import Pako was rock-steady at left back and a marvel to watch as the stocky overlapping fullback took the enthusiastic crowd down memory lane with his breathtaking forays, which were reminiscent of former African Stars fullback George Gariseb. Instead of going on a goal-scoring spree after the resumption of the match, BA took their foot off the pedal and settled for a 2- 0 win.

The 2-0 victory kept the defending champions on the summit of the MTC Premiership League log standings on 19 points - one point ahead of early pace-setters African Stars.

Stars stuttered to an unconvincing 1-nil win over relegation-threatened Mighty Gunners through Meraai Swartbooi's lone strike at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.

FNB Orlando Pirates moved into 3rd place following a 2-0 away win over bottom side Rundu Chiefs. Tigers edged closer to the top order of the MTC Premiership League log standings via a 3-1 triumph over cross-town rivals Ramblers in the first of a double header at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday evening.

Both teams huffed and puffed in the opening 45 minutes but a well-taken second half double by giant forward Kaka Nekundi placed Ingweinyama firmly in the driving seat before former Ramblers striker, Pineas Jacob, beat the offside trap to put the result to bed (3-0).

Captain fantastic Amy Savihemba pulled back a consolation goal for the Tunschel Street Boys but it was a bit of too little, too late to salvage something from the match. It was Ramblers' first defeat since the start of the current term after 8 rounds of matches.

Elsewhere, Cymot Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW), alias Imawida, pulled off a surprise 2-1 win against LHU Blue Waters in their own backyard in Walvis Bay, while league rookies Tura Magic recorded their 2nd win of the season - beating the visiting Eleven Arrows by an identical scoreline at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.

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