22 February 2013

Namibia: BA in Familiar Territory

THE MTC Premiership enters its 15th round this weekend with defending champions Black Africa once again at the top of the log.

They, in fact, have a four-point lead over their main title rivals African Stars and will be favoured to maintain or stretch their lead when they host bottom-of-the-log Rundu Chiefs at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Chiefs, however will be fighting for survival and have shown improved results in their recent matches. In their last two matches they beat Civics 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away to SKW, and cannot be taken lightly.

Stars face a much tougher prospect, against third-placed Tigers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tonight. Tigers have collected seven out of a possible nine points in their last three matches to join Ramblers on 22 points and Stars' coach Ali Akan is expecting a tough match.

"It's a must-win game for us. Tigers have been in good form lately, they have an experienced coach and some good players so it will be tough," he said.

Akan however said the league race was still far from over.

"The title race is still far from over. Both African Stars and BA are still fighting for 24 points, so a lot can still happen," he said.

Stars will be strengthened by the return from injury of Jamu Ngatjizeko, Bradley Wermann and Meraai Swartbooi, with only Zimbabwean striker Clarence Foroma out injured at the moment.

In other matches tomorrow, Civics host Blue Waters at the SKW Stadium, Eleven Arrows host Orlando Pirates at the Narraville Stadium and Mighty Gunners host SKW at the Mokati Stadium.

Meanwhile, Tura Magic got their first victory under new coach Woody Jacobs when they beat his former club Ramblers 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Tura Magic took an early lead after a fine goal by Kalusha Alhassan but Emilio Martin equalised from the penalty spot after a foul in the box.

Tura Magic however struck back when Neville Tjiueza rose high to head home a cross by Patrick Sakala shortly before halftime.

In the final stages Ramblers' Alfred Karamata scored but was ruled offside and Tura Magic held on for an important victory that lifts them up 10th place, two points clear of the drop zone.

"I'm relieved with the win but I think the guys deserved it. They were tactically very disciplined, they stuck to their guns, and created a lot of chances. Tonight lady luck was on our side, we got two goals and I'm just happy for the boys, and the victory is sweet," Jacobs said after the match.

"But we should not be overwhelmed by this victory. From Friday we will be back in training, working our socks off, because it's going to take a lot of hard work to stay up. This year I think its going to be one helluva relegation battle because a lot of teams can go up or down with one game," he added.

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