Ongos’ title credentials to be tested 

Nicodemus Haikali in action for FC Ongos against Young Brazilians. Photo: Helge Schütz

FC Ongos’ title credentials in the Debmarine Namibia Premiership will be put to the test this weekend when they host Mighty Gunners and Eeshoke Chula Chula in Windhoek, with African Stars snapping at their heels in the premiership title race. 

Ongos regained the lead last weekend when they took maximum points against Khomas Nampol and Young Brazilians to go top of the log on 45 points, but Stars are just a point behind, and with arguably an easier task this weekend, the lead could once again change in this season’s engrossing title race. 

Ongos coach Agnus Elemu said it was a crucial weekend in the title race. 

“This is the most important weekend for us –  we are facing two very good teams that can challenge us. We worked hard and didn’t take it easy during training, because we want to be consistent and get positive results,” he said.

Ongos beat Gunners 4-2 in the first round in Otjiwarongo on 4 November, but Gunners are good travellers and will be determined to bounce back after a 1-0 defeat against Okahandja United last weekend. Gunners are currently eighth on the log, but just three points behind fourth-placed Chula Chula, and with another match in store against Young African at Gobabis on Sunday they could climb substantially if they get positive results.

Eeshoke Chula Chula will also provide a tough challenge for Ongos and with their strong support base, a big crowd is expected for their showdown at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium on Sunday. 

Elemu, however, said their crowd was not an intimidating factor. 

“We know they have a big following and we are expecting a big crowd, but we are not worried about that. The better team will carry the crowd, and we will take it as our crowd as well,” he said. 

Ongos have no injury concerns, although their prolific striker Simon Elago will miss the Gunners match due to a yellow card. He scored a brace against Khomas Nampol last weekend and Elemu said he will be missed tonight. 

“Simon is playing very well and scoring almost every game now, so we will miss him against Gunners, but we will be at full strength for Chula Chula,” he said.

Chula Chula, meanwhile, are in good form, having beaten Blue Waters 2-0 at the coast last weekend and their coach John Sikerete said they are well prepared for this weekend’s matches. 

“We are always ready to challenge any opponent. We are ready to go and fight in Gobabis against Young African on Saturday and against Ongos in Windhoek on Sunday to deliver good results for our supporters,” he said.

“Ongos will be a tough one, but we are not scared of any opponent. We are not very happy with our current log position and our aim is to climb up the log – I hope that our supporters will fill the stadium,” he added.

African Stars, meanwhile, will play two home matches at their Okahandja stronghold, the Nau-Aib Stadium, were they, too, can count on strong support. They take on Julinho Sporting tomorrow and Okakara Young Warriors on Sunday – two teams that are both struggling close in the danger zone, with Okakarara third from bottom on 19 points and Julinho just one point above them. 

Former log leaders Khomas Nampol will be keen to get their title challenge back on track after losing both their matches last weekend to drop down to third position, four points off the pace. 

They, however, face two tough encounters on the road, against Okahandja United tomorrow and Blue Waters on Sunday, and will need to pick up points if they hope to remain in touch with the leaders.

At the other end of the log the relegation battle is in full swing, with Life Fighters, Orlando Pirates, Okakarara Young Warriors, Civics and Julinho all in the danger zone. 

Fighters travel to Windhoek to take on Tigers and Civics, while Pirates host Julinho and Okakarara in the capital. 

In other matches, seventh-placed Unam take on Civics and Tigers in Windhoek, while 11th-placed Young Brazilians are on the road against Blue Waters tomorrow and Okahandja United on Sunday. 

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