Tough northern battles await Stars 

Awilo Stephanus on the attack for Stars against Tigers. Photo: Helge Schütz

Log-leaders African Stars face two tough matches on the road, while FC Ongos and Khomas Nampol will be hoping to close the gap in Round 24 and 25 Debmarine Namibia Premiership matches this weekend.

Last weekend Stars swept to the top of the log after collecting maximum points to open up a four-point lead, after Ongos and Nampol both dropped points. Stars, however, travel north this weekend for two tough assignments against Eeshoke Chula Chula at the Oshakati Independence Stadium tomorrow and Mighty Gunners at Otjiwarongo on Sunday – two teams who have been in good form lately. 

Last weekend Chula Chula impressed with two draws on the road – a goalless draw against Young African in Gobabis and then putting a dent in FC Ongos’ title challenge when they held them to a 2-2 draw in Windhoek. 

With Chula Chula now back on their home turf in Oshakati, they will now present a stern test for Stars, who’s coach Ronny Kanalelo last week criticised the state of their pitch. 

“The Chula Chula and Mighty Gunners games are going to be big battles. The last time I went there (Oshakati Stadium) with Unam the pitch was unplayable, but we tried to play. Hopefully with the rain now they’ve managed to work on it and if its possible to play then we’ll play,” he told African Stars’ Facebook page.

“If it’s not possible to play then we’ll fight and we will obviously change our approach, in terms of the personnel that we want to use for that game, especially with an aerial presence. I’m giving them a hint already that we’ll use players with aerial presence against and then we’ll use speed with our young talent and later on introduce the experienced players,” he added. 

Mighty Gunners last weekend also halted Ongos’ title charge with a 1-0 victory in Windhoek, and Kanalelo said he was expecting an aggressive game. 

“With Mighty Gunners it will be a completely different game to Chula Chula. They play a very tight and aggressive game – they play the long balls and try to make those runs behind the defence lines, but there the pitch is a bit better so let’s test them on the ground,” he said. 

FC Ongos still have a match in hand on Stars, but they will need to pick up points if they dont want to be left behind in the title race. 

At the Nau-Aib Stadium at Okahandja this afternoon they take on a Unam side that will be desperate to get back to winning ways after they failed to collect a point last weekend. Unam lost 2-0 to Civics and 1-0 to Tigers to drop three places down to 10th on the log. 

On Sunday, Ongos are back at the Windhoek Independence Stadium to host bottom-of-the-log Life Fighters, who despite their position should not be taken lightly. Last weekend they pulled off a shock 3-0 victory against Tigers in Windhoek with coach George Ochurub saying that he hoped it will spark their revival. 

“This is where it starts now. It’s three points which will put us in a positive mindset going forward.This is a moral booster for the players and now the fight is on,” he said. 

Khomas Nampol who are third, five points behind Stars, will be aiming for maximum points when they host Okakarara Young Warriors tonight and Julinho Sporting on Sunday. 

Both their opponents are on 20 points in the danger zone, with Okakarara second from bottom and Julinho fourth from bottom, and they, too, are battling for survival.

In other matches, Civics and Tigers take to the road to take on Blue Waters and Okahandja United, while Young Brazilians host Julinho and Okakarara Young Warriors in Keetmanshoop. 

Young African, meanwhile, take on Life Fighters at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium tonight, while they will be back at Gobabis’ Legare Stadium for their match against Unam on Sunday. 

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