Namibia: Magicians' Dominance Flagged

22 February 2021

TURA Magic cruising to an 11-0 aggregate win over V-Power Angels in the NFA Women's Super League Cup semi-final does not benefit the nation, Khomas Nampol head coach Adelino Baptista said.

Holders Nampol were held goalless by a spirited Galz and Goals outfit in Saturday's other last-four clash, losing the hard-fought tie 1-0 over two legs.

The Magicians had an easier time of it. After building a 3-0 buffer a fortnight ago, they comprehensively defeated their rivals 8-0 in the return leg, with defender Lovisa Mulunga playing so advanced that she helped herself to no less than five goals and the player-of-the-match prize.

"It was not as easy as it looks. It was a little bit challenging in the first half. But as we got used to the game, it got easier," said an elated Mulunga, who is a regular on score sheet and has posted five goals or more in previous campaigns.

Also on target for Magic were the tournament's leading scorer Anna Shikusho and Ivonne Kooper.

"It's down to teamwork. I always make sure I go for corners and free-kicks because I know I can capitalise.

"We're very optimistic for a win [in the final] and we are working very hard to get the title. I think we're gonna make it. We're gonna win this cup," Mulunga said confidently.

While Magic revelled in their latest success, Baptista was unflattering in his assessment of their rivals' achievement.

He highlighted the continued glaring disparity in strength of the WSL clubs as detrimental to the overall objective of developing the women's game.

About 60% of Magic's playing personnel are Brave Gladiators, with the remainder of the senior national side sprinkled across the rest of the teams.

When winning the league in 2019 before domestic football ground to a halt, an undefeated Tura Magic scored 118 goals and conceded only three to win the league title at a canter.

"The problem I realised in Namibian women's football is that you beat a team 18-0 today, and tomorrow the national team will lose 8-0. Then it means we are doing nothing [to help the players improve]. We are lying to ourselves," Baptista said.

Namibia struggles to keep pace with their counterparts on the international scene. Much of that is down to limited domestic action, but overstocking one team with the leading talents is also not helping, Baptista said.

Other than Nampol's shock victory in 2017, Magic, formerly known as JS Academy, have had little competition for honours over the last decade.

Before that, Okahandja Beauties hogged the majority of national team players and titles.

Baptista said the teams need to be evenly matched, like his experienced side were against the youthful Galz and Goals, to raise the level of competition.

"The objective of the technical team is to win the league, not this cup. We are planning to bring two or three foreign players that can help make the team competitive, so that one team will not be dominating the league or tournament," he said.

Nonetheless, Galz and Goals are quietly optimistic they can cause another upset in their maiden final after eliminating the holders.

"We played the game like the coach told us, and we are through to the final. I'm very happy and excited. This was a battle, we played against the defending champions and it was not easy," said Veronica van Wyk, the player of the match.

"We are looking forward to the final and want to do our best so we can win this cup. It won't be easy, because we will be playing a very strong team, but we will try our level best," she said.

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