WINDHOEK, 07 APR – Namibia Premier League (NPL) log leader African Stars beat Civics 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday to extend their lead at the top of the table to eight points.
With only four games left to play in the 2017/18 MTC Premiership, the three-time NPL champions are currently on 55 points while their nearest rival Black Africa, who still have five games to play, are on 47 points.
It was a do-or-die matter for both teams on Friday as relegation-threatened Civics needed the points to move themselves out of the danger zone, while Stars went into the game looking for the three points to put more pressure on the chasing pack.
It was a 50-50 game in the first half as not many scoring chances were created by the two Windhoek-based teams.
The half time score was 0-0.
In the second half, Stars coach Bobby Samaria made a few changes, taking out Marius Kotze and Engelhard Kahua for Obrey Amseb and Neville Tjiueza.
It took just six minutes for super substitute Amseb to save the day for the league contenders. He displayed his individual brilliance by beating Civics’ defenders, then unleashing a cracker of a shot which left Civics goalkeeper Edward Maova helpless in the 51st minute.
With a goal down, Khomasdal-based outfit Civics stepped it up a gear and had more of the ball possession, but their final touch let them down. Civics brought in youthful player Junhino Jantze, who won them possession on the left wing and middlefield, but all his efforts were in vain as his team-mates could not convert it into shots on target or goals.
The match finished with Stars extending their lead at the top. Their closest rivals, Black Africa will have a chance to narrow the gap back to five points when they take on Young African in Gobabis on Saturday at 15h00.
Speaking to the media after the game, Samaria said their aim since the start of the 2017/18 season was to be crowned champions.
“The ball is currently in our own hands to drop. I am positive we are going to win this title but it’s important that we remain focused and continue getting the results, then we will be crowned league champions,” he said.