WINDHOEK, 19 JUNE – The final round of qualifiers for the Neymar Jr’s Five soccer tournament, took place over the weekend at the Dawid Bezuidenhout Sports Fields in Windhoek. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup fever in full effect, the games kicked off in high spirits.
The aim was to fill the last six slots for the final 16 teams that will compete at the National Finals on Saturday, 30 June 2018 at the UN Plaza in Windhoek. Khomas Region five-a-side teams pitched up in numbers to battle it out for the last remaining six places. They were placed in groups of four in search of the top two teams from each group who would then progress to the knockout round.
The brutal knockout phase heated up the competition as none of the teams wanted to surrender. As a result, most of the games ended in draws and had to be settled with one-on-ones where both teams selected a single player to compete against another of the opposing team. Thereafter, the competition moved into the quarter, semi and final round.
Tjimbiyera FC were crowned the Windhoek Champions followed by Tuli Ngaa FC, Khomasdal Boys, Bethlehem United, Sonadores FC and Supreme Squad. Founder and captain of Tjimbiyera FC, Collin Tjimbiyera said: “We are glad to have outplayed the other teams. As a captain, I am sure we are going to Brazil. Thank you to all the sponsors, this helps keep the youth away from the streets.”
Tuli Ngaa FC’s captain, Reinhold Haludilu, said that it was not easy to make it to the last 16. “It took determination and character to pull through,” he said. The last 16 teams are listed below:
1. Tjimbiyera FC: Champions
2. Tuli Ngaa FC
3. Khomasdal Boys
4. Bethlehem United
5. Sonadores FC
6. Supreme Squad.
1. SFC Welwitchia: Champions
2. SFC Atlantic
3. SFC Namib
5. NY Galaxy
1. Lions: Champions
Bank Windhoek’s Public Relations and Reputational Risk Manager, André le Roux, said he was excited to have noted that the competition has been received well especially by the participants.
“It has been a great experience to have witnessed the response and talent we have in our country. Congratulations to the last 16 teams that have edged closer to the dream of playing in Brazil,” he said.
The Neymar Jr’s Five is a Red Bull initiative co-sponsored by Bank Windhoek. Snickers, Fresh FM and NBC, are also sponsors of the tournament. One of the last 16 participating teams will have a chance to represent Namibia at the World Finals on Saturday, 21 July 2018 in Brazil.
There, they will have a chance to play against world-renowned and most expensive soccer player, Neymar Junior, who is currently representing Brazil at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. For more information, log on to www.neymarjrsfive.com. – NDN Staffer