WINDHOEK – Revitalised Katutura giants Tigers Football Club, aka “Ingwe Inyama” set up a mouthwatering cup final clash of the titans against old foes African Stars.
Tigers defeated 10 men Black Africa in the second leg of a tense semifinal fixture of the newly introduced annual Standard Bank Top 8 Cup at the Sam Nujoma stadium on the outskirts of Namibia’s commercial capital Windhoek on Saturday.
After a goalless stalemate in the first leg a fortnight ago in the costal town of Walvis-Bay, the decisive second leg failed to produce any goals and ended with an identical score line (0-0) as the first – obliging the tie to be decided via the rotary of the dreaded penalty shootout.
The match, televised live on the national broadcaster, the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) started like a house on fire with both teams determined to register a goal.
Action swung from end to end but the match was soured by the controversial marching order brandished at Black Africa’s agile shot stopper Kameyanda Ndisiro in the 37th minute – leaving Wire Shipanga’s fired up brigade with the enviable task of soldiering on with 10 men for the remainder of an otherwise entertaining clash.
Despite playing with a man down, it was the Gemengde outfit that took the fight to their opponents as “Ingwe” failed to maximise their numerical one-man advantage.
After a goalless opening half and the match destined for a penalty shootout, Shipanga unleashed much traveled attacking midfielder Wesley “Ballack’ Katjiteo, to bolster their stuttering attacking options.
At the other end of the field, BA’s auxiliary shot stopper Romeo van Wyk, was called into action as ‘Ingwe’ started to darken the door of their opponents’ danger zone.
Nonetheless, it was the red and black strip outfit that finished the stronger of the two sides but that elusive goal would just not arrive – leaving the ultimate outcome to be decided by penalties.
Both Immanuel Heita and Wendell Rudath had their tamely taken spot kicks gallantly gathered by Ingwe’s wide awake acrobatic goalie Imms Immanuel.
On the other hand, Tigers dispatched all their allocated penalties via the educated boots of Muna Katupose, Stanley “Chester” Llewelyn, Abes Iimbondi, Ferdinand “Mashaba” Karongee to fashion a 4-2 win.
Inspirational skipper Dynamo “Captain Fantastic” Fredericks and skillful lankly centre back Emilio “Marry-Boy” Martin were both on target for BA.
In the second semi final of a double header of the Standard Bank Top 8 Cup at the same venue, Katutura glamour football club African Stars were made to sweat hard for their goalless draw against the youthful Tura Magic outfit.
Going into the tie high in high spirits following their narrow 1-0 victory in the first leg, Bobby Samaria’s charges found themselves pecked back for the better part of the encounter but that oak door of their defense held on for dear life to manufacture a somewhat lucky goalless stalemate enough to book their place in the final.
The Reds’ traditionally lethal strike force, spearheaded by burly serial net buster Hallelujah ‘Kaka” Nekundi and Comoro Ireland import Ibrahim Youssuf was tightly kept in check by the Magicians’ well oiled rearguard marshaled by the ever improving Charles Hambira.