Black Africa (BA) blew its chance to go four points clear at the top of the MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) after being held 2-2 by Rundu Chiefs, in Rundu on Saturday.
BA travelled to Rundu in search of victory, which would have seen it moving closer to its fourth straight title but it was not the case against a stubborn Chiefs that’s fighting for survival.
Chiefs opened the score line in the first minute through Uaseuko Katjukua, after some poor making in BA’s defence, which was without skipper, Da Costa Angula and regular number-one keeper, Arnold Subeb, through injuries and work commitments.
BA levelled matters in the 37th minute, thanks to Bryan Bantam who scored one of the easiest goals you will ever see in the league, after Chiefs’ keeper, Wilhelm Shikongo, left his goalpost unprotected.
After Bantam’s goal, Chiefs continued to dominate the game and all credit went to BA’s understudy keeper, Abogile Grootboom, who was outstanding in goals for his side.
Chiefs took the lead again in the 66th minute after a good cross from U/20’s international Isensius Mutuku, which landed on the boot of Alexander Goxab, who scored a beautiful goal on the far right corner, to beat a helpless Grootboom.
BA had to dig very deep to secure an equaliser in the 93rd minute of the four added minutes, thanks to Brave Warriors’ defender Emilio Martin’s goal after Chiefs’ defenders were caught napping.
BA almost sealed victory in the last kick of the match but Riaan Eugene’s goal was disallowed by referee, Jonas Shongedi, for offside.
The match was without drama, after Chiefs’ Goxab and BA’s playmaker Willy Stephanus almost came to blows in the second half over an unfair tackle.
The draw put BA on 36 points and Chiefs on 12 points.
BA which has only lost once in the league so far against United Stars of Rundu, that beat it 1-0, was on the verge of another defeat in Rundu.
“We were lucky to salvage a point,” BA coach Briaan Isaacs said.
Meanwhile, Isaacs also said his side is now in control of the league, despite his side being only two points clear of second-placed Tigers with 34.
Third-placed Orlando Pirates is on 31 points, with a game in hand against fourth-placed African Stars, that has 30 points after its match was disrupted by poor lighting last Wednesday.
BA still has to play Tigers this Friday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in what some may call a “title decider” while the rematch between Pirates and Stars is yet to be decided upon.
“We are still in control of the league, although we wanted to extend it to four points. We are happy with the draw,” said Isaacs.
Chiefs’ coach, John Sikerete, was visibly disappointed with his team’s performance, after beating United Stars 2-0 in the Rundu derby.
“Concentration has been our biggest problem the whole season and I don’t know why the players do not learn from past games. My players are still young and they did good, especially against an experienced team like BA,” said Sikerete.