The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Cup Setback Is History, Says DA Costa

BLACK Africa vice captain Da Costa Angula says his side has put Sunday's "painful" Bidvest Namibia Cup exit at the hands of bitter rivals Orlando Pirates behind them and are now fully focused on retaining their league crown.

Pirates won the tightly contested match 7-6 on penalties, leaving BA with only one piece of major silverware to compete for this season.

Angula said he was particularly keen to get on with the league programme after his ballooned spot-kick handed victory to the Buccaneers.

The defender endured an unpleasant Sunday afternoon after he was also penalised for inadvertently handling in his box, which led to Pirates' first goal.

"We were disappointed and a bit down to lose the derby but it's water under the bridge," he said. "We are out of the Cup so it's important that we work twice as hard to keep our league title."

Angula, who described his penalty miss as "embarrassing", added that a team of BA's stature had little time to dwell on the past.

"It was really bad. But I'm a senior player and I have to lead by example. I know that I have to move forward and focus on the games ahead."

Just how much damage - if any - the Cup defeat has done to the league champions' morale will be reflected in tonight's match-up against the unpredictable Sport Klub Windhoek at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20h00.

BA's league form has been nothing short of phenomenal since the turn of the year. Having playing second fiddle to African Stars for most of the first round, BA finally took pole position in title race after Stars dropped points against Civics while they beat Ramblers last time out.

They lead the NPL chart on 30 points, one more than Stars, and a win tonight will stretch that advantage to four.

Stars play away to Blue Waters in Walvis Bay on Saturday.

"We need to win in order to maintain our push for another league title. Our rivals will be under a lot of pressure if we pick up all three points. Every point counts."

SKW may have beaten Try Again 3-1 in the Cup on Saturday, but their league form has been indifferent all season.

They currently rank seventh on the log, are only seven points clear of a relegation spot and were held to a 1-1 draw at home by bottom side Rundu Chiefs in their last league game.

"We are not taking them lightly. They are a well-organised side. There are three points at stake and we must continue to work hard and get them," Angula said.

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