Namibia: Stars Breathing Down BA's Neck

THE MTC Namibia Premier League title race is delicately poised after African Stars reduced the deficit to Black Africa to only two points over the weekend.

Black Africa, who at a stage held a 10-point lead over Stars, saw their lead further reduced after drawing 1-1 to Tigers last Thursday, and then being held to another 2-2 draw against Unam on Sunday.

On Sunday, Unam took the lead on 16 minutes after a foul in the box, with Tara Katupose converting the spot-kick.

BA, however, soon drew level when Vitapi Ngaruka headed in a free kick as the teams went into the half-time break tied at 1-1.

BA took the lead for the first time through a great goal by captain Dynamo Fredericks on 59 minutes, smashing in a shot from about 30 metres that gave Unam keeper Charles Uirab no chance.

Both teams upped the tempo in the final quarter with Koviao Muundjua and Korupanda Kanene coming close to scoring, before Godwin Jena got Unam's equaliser with a great free kick 10 minutes from time.

In the final stages, Koviao Muundjua hit the crossbar with a cracking shot, while Heini Isaacks shot wide. and the two sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Black Africa coach Paulus Shipanga was not too concerned about the dropped points though.

"We have dropped points, it's just one of those things, and it makes the league title race more interesting. But all is not lost, we must now just make sure that we win our remaining games. The title race is wide open and the good thing is that we must still face African Stars. I'm confident that we can win the league," he said.

African Stars, meanwhile, moved up to within two points of BA after drawing 2-2 against Tura Magic last Wednesday, and then beating Young Brazilians 3-0 two days later. Chrispen Mbewe scored a brace and Gustav Isaak one goal against Young Brazilians as Stars moved up to 42 points from 20 matches, with BA still leading on 44 points from 20 matches.

Tura Magic joined Unam on 32 points after their draw against Stars and then beating Eleven Arrows 2-1 on Saturday.

They are closely followed by Life Fighters, who moved up to 31 points, after drawing 3-3 to Citizens on Saturday, and then beating Blue Waters 4-1 on Monday.

The battle to avoid relegation is also heating up after Orlando Pirates picked up a precious 1-0 victory against Civics on Saturday. Pirates are still bottom, but now on 13 points - just one point behind Civics.

Blue Waters' poor season, however, continued after two successive defeats against Mighty Gunners (2-1) on Saturday and Life Fighters (4-1) on Monday, and they are now third from bottom on 16 points.

Orlando Pirates, meanwhile, have another opportunity to move up the log when they take on Citizens at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 19h00 on Wednesday night.

A victory will see them moving off the foot of the table for the first time since 19 January this year.

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