ISSASKAR Gurirab was the star of the show as Orlando Pirates made a storming start to the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) over the weekend.
The golden boot winner from 2019 showed no ill-effects from being inactive for over two years, bagging a hat trick on debut as Pirates breezed past a hapless Citizens 3-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday. He added another two goals in yesterday's 3-0 victory over Young Brazilians, with Kleopas Useb getting the third to complete a resounding start to the transitional season for the Buccaneers.
Making up for lost time, Gurirab was a constant thorn in a lethargic Citizens' defence at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, scoring with a deft flick of the heel just before the end of the first half to break the deadlock.
He bullied his marker off the ball before rounding the keeper to slot home his second just after the hour, then won and converted a penalty late on.
Gurirab's outstanding display underlined the hunger for a return to competitive action after over two years of players kicking their heels on the sidelines because of an administrative power struggle.
"I am grateful that we walked away victorious against a strong team. This is not the end. We will carry the same energy all the way through to the end," said Pirates head coach Woody Jacobs yesterday.
Not to be outdone, Tigers also scored three times against Eleven Arrows without reply at Mariental in Group A action on Saturday.
Kennedy Amutenya, Absalom Iimbondi and Tangeni Shilongo were all on target.
Arrows recovered from that humbling to edge Young African (YA) 1-0 yesterday. YA defeated Black Africa by the same margin the day before.
Also at Mariental Stadium, Kaejarukapo Katjimune led Tura Magic to 1-0 victory over Mighty Gunners.
Back at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, Civics kept pace with Group B leaders Pirates by picking up four points following a 1-0 win over Blue Waters on Saturday and yesterday's draw 2-2 draw with Julinho Sporting.
Young Brazilians (YB) cruised past Julinho 3-1 on Saturday, with Wayne Esterhuizen, Quinton van Staden and Agustinus Hobexab scoring for YB. Francois Vries got Julinho's consolation.
"Everything is running smoothly. So far, so good. The boys are showing they are hungry for action. We are happy that they can play again after such a long time," NPFL director Mabos Vries said of the opening weekend's action.