Windhoek — With the coveted MTC Premier League title almost out of reach for some of Namibia's leading football clubs, attention will be focused on this weekend's Bidvest Namibia Cup last 16.
Ambitious Katutura glamour football club African Stars will have their eyes firmly fixed on the N$500 000 first prize as Black Africa continue to cement their dominance in the league proceedings.
The Gemengde outfit have built up an unassailable 6-point lead at the summit with only six rounds of matches left before the curtain closes on the country's topflight league. At this stage only an act of God could prevent BA from claiming their 3rd consecutive league title.
With only two all Premier League clashes on the cards going into the round of 16 - the likes of Stars, Tigers, Civics, Mighty Gunners and Cymot Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) are almost guaranteed an easy passage to the quarterfinals of the prestigious competition, but the FA Cup is known for its shock outcomes and surprises that have seen many of the big guns going down to lesser opponents in the past.
Tigers will meet their match in kid brother Hotspurs - conquerors of Premier League rookies Tura Magic in the first round proper, while FNB Orlando Pirates go into their penultimate clash against defending champions Eleven Arrows as the firm favourites.
The Ghosts dispatched the seasiders in a dress rehearsal during an MTC Premier League clash last weekend and could present a repeat performance when they lock horns with the gold and maroon outfit in the last of a triple header at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
LHU Blue Waters confront troubled Ramblers in what promises to be an exciting clash of the titans in the opening match. Both teams are still licking their wounds in the aftermath of unexpected defeats in their respective league matches last weekend and could not have asked for a better platform to redeem themselves.
Tigers FC will square off against Hotspurs in a match billed the 'Goliath vs Dawid' clash because there continues to be very little love lost between the two Katutura teams.
Rundu Chiefs will open proceedings with a tie against lower division campaigners Young Braves at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo on Saturday to be followed by the Mighty Gunners/Golden Bigs encounter, while African Stars complete Saturday's line-up against Omafo United with an outcome which many football pundits consider a foregone conclusion.
Sunday will see United Stars up against SKW, while African Lions host Swakopmund FC in one of only two matches scheduled for the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo.