Debmarine Premiership interestingly poised

Reverend Matroos of Khomas Nampolin action against Esegiel Garoeb of Orlando Pirates. Photo: Helge Schütz

The Debmarine Namibia Premiership is interestingly poised with three teams  threatening to pull away at the top of the log, while the relegation battle is also intensifying.

After Khomas Nampol and FC Ongos made the early running, defending champions African Stars went to the top of the log for the first time on 27 November and by the end of the first round they were two points clear of Nampol and FC Ongos. That followed an unbeaten run of 13 matches, which included a rousing 3-1 win against Nampol on 8 December. 

Last weekend, however, Nampol took revenge with an impressive 2-0 victory against Stars, which put them on top of the log for the first time since 29 October. They lead the log on 40 points, with Stars three points behind, while FC Ongos are third on 33 points, with a game in hand. 

Blue Waters and Eeshoke Chula Chula lead the chasing pack on 28 points, but they have a lot of ground to make up, with a 12-point deficit on the leaders.

Khomas Nampol face a tough assignment this weekend with a double-header on the road against Mighty Gunners and Chula Chula, who are sixth and fifth on the log respectively. 

Tomorrow they face an improving Mighty Gunners at the Mokati Stadium, with the Gunners now unbeaten in nine matches, which saw them moving five places up the log. 

Chula Chula have been a bit inconsistent lately, losing two of their last three matches against Julinho and Okahandja, but in front of their passionate fans at the Oshakati Independence Stadium on Sunday they will also be a tough nut to crack. 

Nampol coach Fortune Eichab continues to play down their title chances, but after last weekend’s win against Stars they are now certainly in the race and more points on the road this weekend will strengthen their credentials. 

Stars, meanwhile, travel to Otjiwarongo to take on a struggling Life Fighters tonight, while they face Unam at the Unam Stadium on Sunday.

Fighters, who have only won two matches to date, dropping down to second last position on the log, last week parted ways with coach Agnus Elemu, who barely a day later was announced as FC Ongos’ new coach. 

George Ochurub, who previously coached Citizens in the premier league, has since been announced as Fighters’ new coach and he can be sure of a baptism of fire against Stars and Orlando Pirates on Sunday. 

Ongos also face two tough assignments on the road, against eighth-placed Okahandja tomorrow and fourth-placed Blue Waters on Sunday, and new coach Elemu said the team had big ideals.

“Ongos is a big brand and a brand that must be respected. If you represent Ongos then you are in a big ship with big ideas – the vision of the team is just so huge,” he said.

“The aim is to improve our position – we are now third but we want to do better, we have to do better from here on,” he added.

Another team that recently changed coaches is Orlando Pirates, who brought in the experienced Woody Jacobs to take over from Costa Khaiseb. That was quite a surprise, seeing that Jacobs had done remarkably well with Botswana Premier League side Matebele FC who have since moved up to fourth position on their log. Jacobs didn’t divulge the reasons for his Botswana exit, just maintaining that he wasnt fired, but he certainly has a tough task now of saving Pirates’ ship. They are bottom of the log with only two wins from 17 matches, and Jacobs’ difficult task was underlined when he lost his first two matches in charge last weekend, going down 2-1 to both Nampol and Young Brazilians. 

Jacobs, however, said he was encouraged by their performance against Nampol.

“I think we did very well against a very good side that has improved by leaps and bounds, and who are deservedly leading the log. We just assembled a new side, we released about 14 players and we brought in the same number, but I told them that I was proud of their performance. It’s a bitter pill to lose while we are still in the basement, but there are 14 games to go and a lot of things can still change,” he said. 

“With the performance that we had in patches and the desire and commitment they showed, I think the team can still get out of the bottom spot and I believe that we have the quality with a good mixture of youth and experience. So I’m not depressed, I’m really encouraged and I think we can only go up from here,” he added.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News