It’s tight at the top 

Devin Somseb of Tigers in action against Chula Chula. Photo: Helge Schütz

The Debmarine Namibia Premiership title race is heading for an exciting climax with three teams separated by only three points at the top of the log.

FC Ongos collected four points over the weekend after a 2-1 victory against Okakarara Young Warriors on Saturday and a 1-1 draw against Julinho Sporting on Sunday to move into second position on the log. 

African Stars, who were inactive over the weekend, still lead the log on 56 points, but FC Ongos are now snapping at their heels on 55, while Khomas Nampol are just one point behind them on 55.

With only three rounds remaining the title race is set to go down to the wire with the league winners most likely only being determined on the final day of the season. 

On Saturday, Ongos withstood a strong onslaught to beat Okakarara 2-1 at Grootfontein, before travelling to Rundu where they were held to a 1-1draw.

Damian Nathanael gave Julinho the lead after about 20 minutes, and the home side nearly went 2-0 ahead when Bryan Vanaardt headed into the net, only to have the goal disallowed for a foul on Ongos’ keeper. 

Ongos, however, rode their luck and got a late equaliser with only two minutes remaining to grab a valuable point. 

That put Ongos right back in the title race, but it was a bitter pill to swallow for Julinho who also lost 1-0 to Young African on Saturday and are now deep in the relegation zone.

Julinho’s coach Nelson Luis said it was a clear goal. 

“The referee disallowed the goal saying that Bryan had fouled Ongos’ goalie, but that was not a foul – the goalie clearly didn’t have the ball under his control,” he said yesterday. 

That put them third last on the log on 22 points, and with three matches remaining they will have to pick up points if they hope to avoid the drop. 

Luis, however, sounded optimistic that they will avoid the relegation axe. 

“Our last three matches are all at home against Blue Waters, Okahandja and Okakarara, who are also battling relegation, so it could go down to the last game of the season, but I still think we can survive,” he said. 

Tigers, meanwhile, had a weekend to forget as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Mighty Gunners at the Unam Stadium on Friday, before losing 1-0 to Chula Chula two days later. 

Dwaine Kinda gave them an early lead when he followed up a rebound from a freekick, while Usher Uazenga made it 2-0 when he was on hand to put Quinton Kuruseb’s parried shot away. 

Gunners, however, fought back to win a penalty for a foul and although the initial shot was saved, Simon Nekongo followed up to put the rebound into the net. 

The momentum swung Gunners’ way after the break, but Tigers managed to keep them at bay until the final minute when they conceded an own goal after pressure in the box. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough for Tigers’ faithful fans, they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Chula Chula on Sunday. George Marselinu scored the winner early in the second half, but they could have had more as a Marselinu freekick hit the post while they created several other chances.

It was a much better performance by Chula Chula after they went down 1-0 to Civics through a goal by Petrus Sakaria on Saturday, with coach John Sikerete ringing the changes after that defeat. 

“I replaced seven players from the match against Civicvs – mostly with the guys who are normally not even in the first eleven. I decided to reshuffle the team a bit because some players felt like they are irreplacable, but I decided to change our strategy. We have to fight for every ball, even if we don’t play good football, as long as we get the results and improve our position on the log,” he said.

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