Pirates out to spoil Stars’ victory parade

Stars striker Ibroihim Youssouff in action during their 3-1 win against Young African. File photo

The Debmarine Namibia Premiership is expected to end in agony and ecstacy for two Namibian footballing giants, African Stars and Orlando Pirates, when they meet in the season’s final round at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium tomorrow afternoon. 

Stars have to all intents and purposes already won the league, and are already getting ready for their coronation party, while Pirates are deep in the relegation zone and fighting for survival.

In a fascinating three-horse title race, the defending champions Stars finally pulled away last weekend after their closest rivals FC Ongos and Khomas Nampol both dropped points.

Nampol conceded two late goals in a 2-1 defeat to Tigers, while Ongos dropped points in a goalless draw against Pirates and then, in a must-win match against Stars, they were once again held to a goalless draw. 

That put Stars three points clear at the top of the log, with a far superior goal aggregate over Ongos, and although the title is mathematically still undecided, Stars have already started their victory celebrations.

In a “Road to the Last Dance” programme advertised on their social media, which already started on Tuesday, they have inter alia met with their fans and paid a courtesy call to the NFA, while their chairman Salomo Heii was interviewed at length about their successful season. 

The festivities continue today with a ‘Red Friday’ promotion for their fans, while a convoy of fans from Katutura to the Independence Stadium is planned for tomorrow. The festivities will conclude with an open bus parade through Windhoek and Katutura on Sunday. 

Pirates, on the other hand, are in a desperate fight for survival, and will be determined to spoil Stars’ victory parade. 

Life Fighters (20 points) have already been relegated, but Pirates and Okakarara on 26 points each and Julinho on 28 points are battling it out to avoid the other two relegation spots. 

Pirates, therefore, will have to beat Stars, while hoping that Julinho lose to Okakarara Young Warriors when they meet in their final match at Rundu tomorrow. 

The Namibia Premier Football League, meanwhile, made some late changes to tomorrow’s fixtures to accommodate the national athletics championships which are also taking place at the Independence Stadium. 

The Stars v Pirates match will now start at 17h00, an hour later than originally scheduled, while the FC Ongos v Young African match, which was originally supposed to take place at 13h30, has now been shifted to the Nau-Aib Stadium at Okahandja where it will start at 15h00.

There will now be two matches at the Unam Stadium, with Tigers taking on Civics at 13h30, to be followed by Unam against Life Fighters at 16h00. 

In other matches, Khomas Nampol take on Young Brazilians at the Hage Geingob National Rugby Stadium at 16h00; Blue Waters face Okahandja United at the Jan Wilkens Stadium in Walvis Bay at 16h00; and Mighty Gunners take on Eeshoke Chula Chula at the Omulunga Stadium at Grootfontein at 16h00. 

The Namibia Football Association’s disciplinary committee, meanwhile, finally made a ruling on the abandoned match between Young Brazilians and Eeshoke Chula Chula which was supposed to take place at the Oshakati Independence Stadium on 17 February. They found Young Brazilians guilty of failing to appear for the match and docked them three points while also imposing a fine of N$10 000. 

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