Omusati take it home

Omusati took the coveted Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup home after a protracted final on Monday that was eventually decided on a penalty shoot-out. They defeated a spirited Kavango East 3-1 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out.

It was the second time that Omusati had lifted the cup following their maiden win in 2015, while they annexed the trophy from their neighbours and defending champions Kavango West, who failed to make it past the group stages.

Omusati and Kavango East remained tied at the half-time break with no team able to convert its chances. Despite showing good form and splitting open the defence of Omusati, Kavango East failed to find the back of the net. 

On the other side of the field, Omusati showed less hunger for goals, but managed to remain composed at the back to ward off Kavango East’s attacks. 

Kavango East came back more committed in the second half and gave a better display of football across the field. They managed to string together good passes, but generally lacked direction as most of their efforts were easily picked up by Omusati’s goalkeeper.

It was, however, Omusati who took the game to their opponents in the dying minutes of normal time. Spurred on by the crowd that showed disdain for Kavango East after it knocked out the hosts, Omaheke, Omusati created a few chances, but could still not find the elusive goal.

Kavango East was dealt a blow when one of its players, Lukas Mbamba was sent off for a reckless tackle in the second half – a loophole that Omusati took advantage off. Kavango East, however, managed to keep the onslaughts against it at bay and forced the game into extra time.

Thirty minutes of extra time failed to separate the two teams and the game had to be decided on penalties, with Omusati clinching it 3-1.

Kavango East players pictured after they lost the penalty shootout to Omusati. Photo: Mitchelin Kangootui

In the semi-finals, Kavango East beat hosts and pre-tournament favourites, Omaheke, 4-2 on penalties, while Omusati beat Oshikoto 1-0.

Kavango East head coach Godulf Mukova said losing to Omusati is not the end of the road and that they will regroup and focus on the future.

“We tried our level best, but the game was tough. The boys are still young and have talent which can take them far in their footballing careers,” he said.

Omusati head coach, Shipena Nakalondo said the win was for the entire Omusati region.

“This win is for the entire Omusati. It is not really the performance I wanted, but we are satisfied that it turned out in our favour in the end. It really was a tough match,” he said.

The winners walked away with N$35 000, while the  runners-up received N$ 20 000. The third-place winners walked away with N$10 000.

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