It was a weekend of high returns for Namibian footballers plying their trade beyond the country’s borders, with striker Benson Shilongo helping Egyptian Premiership club Ismaily to an emphatic victory, while winger-cum-midfielder Deon Hotto got his first competitive run for South African giants Orlando Pirates.
Namibian lethal striker Shilongo last Thursday finally found his scoring boots when returned to the scoresheet in Ismaily’s 4-2 win over Aswan at Ismailia Stadium on Thursday evening. The 28-year-old marksman signalled his comeback with a 24th-minute goal, which was Ismaily’s second goal of the match.
Muhammad Al-Shami scored Ismaily’s opener in the 14th minute before Abdel-Rahman Magdy added two more for Ismaily in the 48th and 60th minutes to secure a resounding 4-2 victory. Fadi Farid and Hassan Tariq scored for Aswan.
The victory propelled Ismaily to eight place on 41 points, while on the flipside the defeat saw Aswan sitting in 13th place with 37 points.
Meanwhile in neighbouring South Africa over the weekend, Namibian enterprising winger Hotto who recently joined PSL giants Orlando Pirates from Bidvest Wits, got his first serious run for Pirates during their MTN 8 quarterfinal 1-0 win over Cape Town City at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Hotto was part of coach Josef Zinnbauer starting lineup against Cape Town City, and the Namibian gave a decent account of himself depositing his trademark runs down the left-wing and connecting very well with the likes of Fortune Makaringe and Ben Motshwari in the middle of the park. It was not a bad debut for Hotto, as his presence on the pitch could be felt and one could tell that mentor Zinnbauer, who was also experimenting different combinations, was a satisfied man with Hotto overall application to the match.
The Namibian, who wore jersey No.11 for the Buccaneers, was replaced in the 66th minute to make way for Tebogo Tlolane as Pirates marched to a 1-0 win after an uneventful opening 20 minutes. The deadlock was broken through a timely contribution from debutants, as Wayde Jooste - from the right flank – found Terrence Dzvukamanja’s leaping header, with the Zimbabwean international directing the ball into the net for his first goal in Pirates colours to seal the Buccaneers’ spot in the next round of the competition.