BA regain 6-point leadBy: HELGE SCHUTZ
BLACK Africa regained their six-point lead over African Stars after beating Eleven Arrows 2-0 on Saturday evening.
Stars had closed the gap to three points after beating SKW 4-2 on Friday night, but BA were in uncompromising mood as two second-half goals by Eslin Kamuhanga gave them the win.
BA wasted numerous chances in the first half, with Jerome Louis, Roger Katjiteo and Willy Stephanus all coming close while Arrows’ keeper Gernot Spath brought off some fine saves.
But BA’s continuous pressure finally told midway through the second half when the impressive Willy Stephanus broke through three tackles to send in a cross that an unmarked Kamuhanga slammed into the net.
With five minutes remaining BA won a penalty for a foul in the box and Kamuhanga slotted home to ensure their victory.
Black Africa coach Brian Isaacs said they controlled the match throughout.
“The performance was excellent – we played controlled football and were in control of the game. In the first half we missed a lot of chances, but in the second half we got our composure back and scored two goals, so I’m very happy with the performance,” Isaacs said.
Isaacs however added that there were still tough games ahead.
“It’s a good position to be in although we still have very tough games ahead, but with our current consistent performance, and not conceding goals, it’s looking good,” he said.
Isaacs said the squad was calm and focused and approaching its matches in a relaxed manner.
“At this stage we are in the driving seat, so we are not looking back, we are looking forward. As a result we had a more relaxed and comfortable approach although we are determined to win all our remaining matches, so we will stay focused.”
STARS KEEP UP THE PRESSURE
On Friday night, African Stars temporarily closed the gap on Black Africa to three points after beating SKW 4-2.
After a goalless first half the match sprang into life after the break when Riaan Cloete put Stars ahead after a great throughpass by Jamu Ngatjizeko.
Deon Kavendji added Stars’ second goal while Cloete made it 3-0 from the penalty spot.
SKW however struck back with two goals in two minutes by Festus Scheepers and Mike Sinvula, but Stars had the last say when substitute William Chilufya scored from a long pass to make the final score 4-2.
Stars’ coach Ali Akan was not impressed by the two late goals that they conceded.
“We dominated the game but we conceded two goals and I’m not happy about that. We were leading 3-0 and you cannot allow the other team to come back. I hope that we won’t make any mistakes in our final six matches and especially on defence we have to fix this problem,” he said.
Akan said the title race was still open.
“There are six games to go and I know that Black Africa have a quality team and some great players. But they still have some difficult games and they have to play us and we are waiting for that match. But I don’t want to focus on BA that they have to drop points, the most important thing is that we have to win our remaining matches,” he said.
In an important relegation battle, Tura Magic came from a goal down to beat Mighty Gunners 3-1.
Vernon Klaazen gave Gunners the lead on 12m with a fine shot from an acute angle but Tura Magic struck with three second-half goals by Friday Samu, Itamunua Keimuine and Abdul Jafaru.
The victory gives Tura Magic a bit of breathing space as they climb up to ninth position on 17 points, while Gunners remain second last on 15 points.
Tura Magic coach Woody Jacobs said they lifted their game significantly in the second half to ensure the win.
“It was a game of two halves. We didnt do well in the first half, so I climbed into the players at half time and told them that we are not in a good position. They were a changed team in the second half and I commend them on their performance,” he said.
Jacobs however warned that the relegation battle was far from over.
“This result pushes us up but its still far from over. There will still be a tight relegation battle ahead but at this stage it’s a good morale booster,” he said.
In Walvis Bay, Blue Waters beat Orlando Pirates 2-1 to move up to sixth place on 19 points, while Pirates remain third on 27 points.
The match between Rundu Chiefs and Tigers was cancelled after the death of the Kavango governor, Maurus Nekaro.