OHAMBO JATATE - The Epukiro All Stars football team was crowned winners of the late rural football manager Molala Murirua Cup competition. The final was played at Khomasdal Stadium in Windhoek on Sunday.
Murirua, who passed away in 2021, played a pivotal role in the development of rural sports, especially in the Ovitoto constituency, where he was a football manager for the successful Ovitoto All Stars team for a decade.
About 10 football teams from various constituencies assembled at Khomasdal Stadium to pay homage to the fallen manager in a knockout competition, organised under the auspices of the Namibia Rural Sports Development Federation.
In the first semifinal of the competition, Okakarara All Stars defeated their Otjozondjupa region counterpart, Okondjatu, by two goals to nil and booked their place in the final.
Epukiro and Otjinene, two Omaheke-based giants, had a highly contested second semifinal encounter. Otjinene emerged victorious with a 1-0 scoreline, securing their final ticket against Okakarara. The curtain-raising match before the final saw Otjinene Masters clinch victory over Ovitoto Masters via 4-3 on penalties following a one-all stalemate in regulation time.
The youthful Epukiro All Stars team then crowned themselves champions of the Molala Murirua Cup by defeating Okakarara 1-0 and taking home N$14 000, a trophy, and 18 gold medals. The runners-up, Okakarara, pocketed N$7 000 and 18 silver medals, whereas an amount of N$7 000 was shared equally between Otjinene and Okondjatu for coming third in the tournament. Seun Kamatjipose, who is Epukiro’s coach, told this publication that his youthful team played well and showed high-level commitment.
“They have been playing for All Stars for two years now, they combined well and improved well at every stage of the competition,” Kamatjipose alluded. He further highlighted the contribution of the three senior players, Noah Kazao, Roma Tjiueza, and Toure Tjirondero, who motivated the young stars throughout this tournament.
Meanwhile, the netball category competition was cancelled as the netball courts at Khomasdal Stadium are under renovations.
“We have to cancel as it is always difficult to get netball courts elsewhere in Windhoek. We regret it, but our netball players understood and rallied behind the football teams,” one of the organisers, Ikuaterua Zarondo said.