21 January 2013

Namibia: 'Stars Will Win the League'

AFRICAN Stars will win the Namibia Premier League: that much is certain, according to coach Ali Akan.

Stars thrashed fellow title hopefuls Orlando Pirates 4-1 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday to maintain their lead at the summit of the league table.

While he conceded that the title race was still far from over, Akan believes that Stars will be crowned champions for the first time since 2010.

Holders Black Africa had briefly topped the standings after outclassing Mighty Gunners 4-0 in the early game at the same venue, only for Stars to put on a masterclass of their own and reclaim the lead.

"At the beginning of the season I told my players, I only have one mandate - to win the league. I have to win the league, and Stars will win the league, of that one we are sure," said Akan.

"It's good for Namibian football that not only one team is running away with the league; it's good for BA, Ramblers and Orlando Pirates, and we will have to fight until the end."

He could not hide his delight at the fast flowing, attacking performance delivered by his side despite it being only their first competitive match since the festive break.

Bradley Wermann opened the scoring for Stars on 27 minutes while Johannes Seibeb made it 2-0 when he converted a penalty two minutes later.

Pirates' hopes of a revival briefly flickered when Ronaldo Tsowaseb pulled a goal back on 57 minutes but another goal by Rudi Louw, barely two minutes after he had come on as a substitute, put Stars 3-1 ahead.

Riaan Cloete rounded off Stars' dominant display with a fourth goal on 66 minutes, as they regained the top spot on the log on 25 points.

"I think we played very well and today we showed them that we can play good football, beautiful football, offensive football. We were supposed to score more goals and we deserved to win and today African Stars was too strong for Orlando Pirates," he said.

Earlier, Roger Katjiteo opened BA's account after only two minutes and from then on there was only one team in it.

Further goals by Willy Stephanus and Eslin Kamuhanga put them 3-0 up at halftime, while Muna Katupose scored their fourth goal two minutes from time.

BA are now one point behind Stars in second place, while Gunners remain second last on the log on 8 points.

BA coach Brian Isaacs was thrilled with the result.

"I'm very happy with the result because in the second round games will be very difficult. If we can get three points we will be happy because that will strengthen our position on the log," he said.

"We did not have much time to play friendlies so some of the players are not match fit. They are physically okay but they lack that match fitness and that is what we are working on now," he added.

Ramblers moved up to third position after beating Eleven Arrows 4-0 at Windhoek's Independence Stadium.

Two first-half penalties by Emilio Martin put them 2-0 up at halftime, while Heinrich Kazerua completed the rout with a brace in the second half.

The result sees Ramblers moving one place up to third position on 22 points, while Pirates move down to fourth on 20 points.

At the Narraville Stadium, Rundu Chiefs pulled off a shock 1-0 victory against Blue Waters, with Petrus Shitembi scoring the winner 7 minutes from time.

Rundu Chiefs are still bottom of the log on 7 points, but now only one point behind 11th placed Mighty Gunners, while Blue Waters are ninth on the log on 11 points.

On Friday night Tigers and Civics drew 1-1, to remain fifth and sixth on the log respectively, while SKW moved up to eighth position after beating Tura Magic 3-1.

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