THE rivalry between African Stars and Tigers football clubs dates back to the dark days of the South African apartheid regime in Windhoek's old location. The two traditional rivals are to lock horns in a do or die MTC Premier League clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek tonight (20h00) in what promises to be an intriguing affair where no quarter will be asked or given.
Stars' outspoken mentor Ali Akan is under tremendous pressure to deliver the goods with a clear mandate to return the coveted MTC Premier League Cup to Diaz House, come the end of the season - but to break Black Africa's stronghold on the much-sought-after elite title, now that the Reds have fallen four points behind the log leaders, is without doubt a Herculean assignment.
Meanwhile, league champions elect, Black Africa, could confirm their title credentials with a comprehensive win over bottom club Rundu Chiefs in a crucial, but completely winnable league match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow. Leading the log standings with four points ahead of nearest rivals African Stars, Brian Isaacs' team will have the advantage of knowing that a likely victory against the league's whipping boys could all but put them on course for an unprecedented 3rd league title after claiming back-to-back titles in the last two seasons.
With Stars facing a stern test of character when the Reds entertain the equally dangerous Tigers at the same venue a day before the BA clash, the Namibian champions' faithful will surely watch tonight's clash of the titans between Stars and Tigers with hawk eyes.
As it stands, FNB Orlando Pirates might be considered the dark horses for the coveted league title, but the Buccaneers appear to have hit top form and only a fool would bet his last penny against Pirates when the Ghosts travel down to the coast to confront seasiders Eleven Arrows at the 'House of Pain' - the Narraville Rugby Stadium in Walvis Bay.
Still licking their wounds following last weekend's shock (2-0) defeat at the hands of basement dwellers Rundu Chiefs, Civics are at home to Gilbert Rwasoka's fired-up LHU Blue Waters at the SKW Stadium in Windhoek.
Mighty Gunners host Cymot Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo in the last of four fixtures slated for Saturday.
Rammies' woes continue
Ramblers suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the MTC Premier League after narrowly going down 2-1 against Tura Magic in a rain soaked midweek clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Ramblers' versatile lanky centre back Emilio Martin netted from the penalty spot to cancel out Kalushare Alahassen's first half strike before inspirational skipper Neville Tjiueza restored his team's slender lead with a classical goal to give the league rookies their 4th win in topflight football.
The rare victory lifted the league's new boys off the foot of the log standings. Woody Jacobs' youthful brigade now sits 2 points above the relegation zone with 14 points from a possible 45 after 15 rounds of matches.