Otjiwarongo wins u-15 cup Youth tournament an eye-opener …

Otjiwarongo wins u-15 cup Youth tournament an eye-opener …

OTJIWARONGO are the Namibian under-15 soccer champions after they defeated Ongwediva 3-1 after extra time in the final of the inaugural soccer development tournament contested at the Omulunga Stadium at Grootfontein on Sunday.

The boys from the Otjozondjupa Region took a well-deserved 1-0 halftime lead via the right foot of the talented Stanley Neumann, who emerged as one of the most gifted midfield players from the tournament. Ongwediva, who won the hearts of the crowd with their exciting brand of football, equalised through midfield maestro Hamushasha Imbodi, who together with Neumann provided for an exciting middle field battle, shortly into the second half.The two sides dished out a battle royal and the huge crowd in attendance clearly enjoyed every moment of the encounter while the technical committee members of the tournament sported huge smiles of satisfaction.However, the two battling teams did not manage to break the deadlock during regulation time, which saw Ongwediva twice hitting the Otjiwarongo crossbar and missing a number of good goal-scoring chances.Otjiwarongo were made to chase shadows and were forced to retreat for most parts of the second half, but little did the boys from Ongwediva know that their final opponents had a big surprise in store for them.The surprise came in the form of two heart-breaking goals in the final half of extra time, which handed the title of the first ever Namibian under-15 soccer champions to the boys from Otjiwarongo’s Orwetoveni township.Ongwediva were still looking as if they were going to grab their second goal of the match at any stage of the first half of extra time, before midfielder Salomon Somseb put Otjiwarongo ahead with an individualistic goal.The hard-running Somseb went on a merry run on the left side of attack, dribbled his way into the penalty of Ongwediva, Thierry Henry style, before he unleashed a powerful right foot past the stunned goalkeeper and into the net.The goal, which was scored three minutes into the second half of extra time, seemed to have kicked life back into the Otjiwarongo attack as it did not take long before the crowd had to celebrate the second and last goal of an entertaining encounter.This time it was the powerful left foot of striker Jeffrey Baptista which sent shock waves through the clearly stunned Ongwediva players, when he pounced on a brilliant through-ball from midfield before his shot flew into the net.The Otjiwarongo bench started to celebrate what was now a certain victory while their counterparts from Ongwediva could only shake their heads in disbelief, all their excellent showing and hard work coming to naught.Otjiwarongo, who resorted to counter-attacking mainly, allowing the opponents from the Oshana Region to do most of the attacking while they relied mostly on their reliable counter-attacking style, ran out 3-1 winners.The event, which was co-hosted by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Grootfontein Municipality, provided for exciting and highly entertaining football from the opening match on Friday to the last match on Sunday.The victory was particularly sweet for Otjiwarongo who, despite winning all three their opening matches, were not championship favourites even after they dumped one of the favourites of the tournament, Windhoek, in the semi-final on Saturday.Windhoek, who were represented by a Windhoek Development Team after the City of Windhoek declined to support a Windhoek city team, were hot favourites to win the event together with counterparts from Ongwediva.National under-15 coach Willy Kapukare was full of praise about the level of talent on display, calling the tournament “probably the most constructive project the NFA has embarked upon since its formation.”Added Kapukare: “I am grateful the NFA organised this event.It has really provided us with a lot of talent, which may have gone unnoticed otherwise.I must tell you that some of these boys have a great future in the game.”I did not expect the talent we have in this country, especially from the rural areas.Now we have set the ball rolling with identifying the talent, it all depends on how we are going to nurture that talent into championship material in the years to come.”A squad of 54 players was announced after the tournament, from which the technical team is expected to select the final 30, from which the national under-15 side will be subsequently selected.Ongwediva, who won the hearts of the crowd with their exciting brand of football, equalised through midfield maestro Hamushasha Imbodi, who together with Neumann provided for an exciting middle field battle, shortly into the second half.The two sides dished out a battle royal and the huge crowd in attendance clearly enjoyed every moment of the encounter while the technical committee members of the tournament sported huge smiles of satisfaction.However, the two battling teams did not manage to break the deadlock during regulation time, which saw Ongwediva twice hitting the Otjiwarongo crossbar and missing a number of good goal-scoring chances.Otjiwarongo were made to chase shadows and were forced to retreat for most parts of the second half, but little did the boys from Ongwediva know that their final opponents had a big surprise in store for them.The surprise came in the form of two heart-breaking goals in the final half of extra time, which handed the title of the first ever Namibian under-15 soccer champions to the boys from Otjiwarongo’s Orwetoveni township.Ongwediva were still looking as if they were going to grab their second goal of the match at any stage of the first half of extra time, before midfielder Salomon Somseb put Otjiwarongo ahead with an individualistic goal.The hard-running Somseb went on a merry run on the left side of attack, dribbled his way into the penalty of Ongwediva, Thierry Henry style, before he unleashed a powerful right foot past the stunned goalkeeper and into the net.The goal, which was scored three minutes into the second half of extra time, seemed to have kicked life back into the Otjiwarongo attack as it did not take long before the crowd had to celebrate the second and last goal of an entertaining encounter.This time it was the powerful left foot of striker Jeffrey Baptista which sent shock waves through the clearly stunned Ongwediva players, when he pounced on a brilliant through-ball from midfield before his shot flew into the net.The Otjiwarongo bench started to celebrate what was now a certain victory while their counterparts from Ongwediva could only shake their heads in disbelief, all their excellent showing and hard work coming to naught.Otjiwarongo, who resorted to counter-attacking mainly, allowing the opponents from the Oshana Region to do most of the attacking while they relied mostly on their reliable counter-attacking style, ran out 3-1 winners.The event, which was co-hosted by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Grootfontein Municipality, provided for exciting and highly entertaining football from the opening match on Friday to the last match on Sunday.The victory was particularly sweet for Otjiwarongo who, despite winning all three their opening matches, were not championship favourites even after they dumped one of the favourites of the tournament, Windhoek, in the semi-final on Saturday.Windhoek, who were represented by a Windhoek Development Team after the City of Windhoek declined to support a Windhoek city team, were hot favourites to win the event together with counterparts from Ongwediva.National under-15 coach Willy Kapukare was full of praise about the level of talent on display, calling the tournament “probably the most constructive project the NFA has embarked upon since its formation.”Added Kapukare: “I am grateful the NFA organised this event.It has really provided us with a lot of talent, which may have gone unnoticed otherwise.I must tell you that some of these boys have a great future in the game.”I did not expect the talent we have in this country, especially from the rural areas.Now we have set the ball rolling with identifying the talent, it all depends on how we are going to nurture that
talent into championship material in the years to come.”A squad of 54 players was announced after the tournament, from which the technical team is expected to select the final 30, from which the national under-15 side will be subsequently selected.

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