BREAKING THROUGH ... Bryan Bantam of Black Africa evades the tackle of Johannes Seibeb of African Stars during their 0-0 draw on Saturday.
BLACK Africa and African Stars played to a pulsating 0-0 draw at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday evening.
Although there were no goals there was plenty of action as the match was played at a high tempo throughout in front of about 4 000 passionate fans.
BA had the better of the first half with Eslin Kamuhanga and Roger Katjiteo both coming close in the opening exchanges. Stars' keeper Max Mbaeva brought off a fine save from Kamuhanga's close-range volley, while Katjiteo shot narrowly wide after being put clear by Bantam.
Black Africa continued to push the pace in the first half but Mbaeva was in inspired form and kept them at bay with some fine saves.
Stars came more into the game in the second half with Meraai Swartbooi, Clarence Foroma and Freedom Puriza all firing in shots at goal, but Black Africa keeper Arnold Subeb was up to the task.
Towards the end of the match, Stars' substitutes Deon Kavendji and Edwin Korukuve immediately made an impact, but Subeb pulled off a great diving save from Kavendji's shot.
The result left Stars at the top of the log on 22 points while Black Africa are second, one point behind. Both coaches were happy with the result.
"It was a very tactical match, both sides played nice football and created a lot of chances. Unfortunately we did not take our chances but it was a good game," Black Africa coach Brian Isaacs said after the game.
"I'm satisfied with the result because there's not a big gap between the log leaders so we can easily make up ground in the second round. The championship is still wide open and we can definitely become champions again," he added.
African Stars coach Ali Akan said that Black Africa were the better team on the day.
"Black Africa was a little bit better today. They were a bit hungrier and created some good chances on the counterattack. But we got one point and I'm happy for the draw because we are still at the top of the log," he said.
"Today we were a bit weaker and not at our best. Boetietjie Malgas was a bit off today and we gave away far too many passes, that was our weakest point," he added.
Akan said that he was intent on winning the league.
"After today's results, it looks like four teams are moving ahead and one of these four teams will win the league. But we want to win the league, there is no question about that," he said.
RAMBLERS DRAW AFTER INJURY-TIME GOAL
In Narraville, an injury time goal by Heinrich Kazerua gave Ramblers a share of the spoils against Blue Waters.
Philemon Nambele put Blue Waters ahead but Randall Goagoseb equalised for Ramblers just before halftime.
Blue Waters once again took the lead through Ahtisaari Hapundjua in the second half before Goagoseb's injury time goal for Ramblers.
Ramblers are now fourth on the log on 19 points, and Ramblers director Jorge de Purificacao said he was happy with their performance.
"We are happy with the point. The team played very well and they showed great character to come back in difficult and windy conditions," he said.
"We are now only three points behind the leaders and we have picked up points against all the top sides, so I think we can challenge for the title," he added.
In Otjiwarongo, Eleven Arrows got an important away victory when they beat Mighty Gunners 2-1. Abed Namukwambi and Sheya Andimba scored for Arrows in the first half, while Robert Uirab got a late consolation goal for Gunners.
The result sees Arrows moving up to seventh position on 12 points, while Gunners are now second last on eight points.
In Rundu, Rundu Chiefs recorded their first victory of the season when they beat Tura Magic 3-1. Chiefs' national midfielder Petrus Shitembi scored two goals, while Gella Kandjimi added the third goal.
Despite the victory, Rundu Chiefs are still bottom of the log on four points.
On Friday evening, a great goal by Alfred Ndyenge 15 minutes into the second half gave Orlando Pirates a 1-0 victory against Tigers.
Ndyenge was put clear from a throughpass and smashed home a 25m strike that gave Tigers' keeper Fox Nambundunga no chance.
Tigers attacked hard in the second half but wasted some great chances to draw level. Pineas Jacob headed wide from a corner on 67m and then four minutes later blasted over the bar with an open goal gaping.
The result put Pirates up to third place on 20 points, while Tigers are fifth on 14 points.