Khomas Nampol close in on leaders

Denzel Narib in action for Pirates against Khomas Nampol. Photo: Helge Schütz

Khomas Nampol closed in on log leaders African Stars and FC Ongos with an emphatic 4-0 victory against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. 

Two first half goals by Revered Matroos, and one each by Absalom Iimbondi and George Frans already put the issue beyond doubt at half time, as Nampol cruised to acomfortable victory.

They took the lead after only six minutes when Iimbondi put away Onesmus Hipopyeni’s deflected shot, while two goals in three minutes by Matroos, midway through the half, put them firmly in charge. 

He first finished off a quick counterattack by Frans and then put away a loose ball in the box. Frans sealed their victory after another fine cross by Hipoyeni that Pirates’ defence failed to clear. 

With the issue beyond doubt, Nampol took their foot off the pedal in the second half, while their coach Fortune Eichab also made numerous changes as they completed a comfortable win, which puts them right back in the title race.  

African Stars and FC Ongos are on top of the log on 29 points each, but Nampol are now third on 28, with one match in hand. They take on African Stars in a crucial match on Friday night and Eichab said he was man-managing his players with an eye on the Stars match.

“We planned to come out attacking and to score early on, because Pirates, came into the match after a heavy defeat to Young Brazilians, so I knew it would be difficult for them to come back after conceding early on,” he said. 

“In the second half I managed the workload and gave others a chance by bringing on five subs, so that we could rest some of our key players before Friday’s match against Stars,” he added.

The win now puts Khomas Nampol right back amongst the title chasers, but Eichab is still hesitant to rank them amongst the title contenders. 

“We cannot compete with the likes of Stars and Ongos in the long run. They have kept the bulk of their squads from last year and they have so much more resources, so it’s very difficult for us to compete. But we are enjoying our football in the premiership, so we will see how long our run will continue and we are looking forward to the match against Stars,” he said. 

Eichab said their immediate aim is just to remain in the top flight. 

“We are only on 28 points now, and last season Black Africa got relegated with 30 points, so we are not safe yet. If Pirates can lose eight matches in a row, who’s to say it can’t happen to us,” he said.

“We will compare ourselves with the other promoted teams, Chula Chula and Okakarara Young Warriors, so for now my aim is just to stay ahead of them,”he said.

Pirates’ woes, meanwhile, continue to deepen as they are now stuck at the bottom of the log on five points with only one win from 13 matches. 

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