03 Dec 2017 12:30pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
GOBABIS, 03 DEC (NAMPA) Young African were crowned the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup champions following their three goals to two victory over Mighty Gunners after extra time at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis on Saturday.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd, Gunners took the lead in the ninth minute when Vernon Klaazen put the ball into an empty net after a header by Uaondjavure Nakambare hit the upright, leaving Young African goalminder, Mbemutjiua Mata, a beaten man.
Both teams failed to keep possession, with passes going astray and possession changing hands frequently.
Having started the game badly, Young Africans Wesley Ballack Katjiteo started to impose himself on the game, engineering his teams domination of the match.
The hosts were rewarded for their efforts in the 32nd minute when Albert Mujikijera scored the equaliser after a mistake by Gunners fullbacks.
With halftime approaching, Young African took the lead in the 43rd minute through Semfried Maharero, to leave the score line at two goals to one at the break.
The second half of the game belonged to Gunners, who were dominant on the ball but failed to utilise the chances that came their way.
Gunners eventually found the back of the net in the 63rd minute through substitute Gabriel David, who scored with his first touch of the ball in the match.
Pinehas Jacob of Gunners missed a glorious chance to win it for his team after blasting over the crossbar with a little over 10 minutes remaining and the two teams finishing regulation time with a two-all score.
A listless first half of extra time appeared to suggest that a penalty shootout would be on the cards, however with six minutes left in extra time, substitute Salatuel Kaunatjike scored the decisive goal for Young African to win the trophy and prize money of N.dollars 500 000.
Winning coach Mali Ngarizemo was ecstatic with the win, saying it was a tough game for his side.
The changes worked for us and we managed to contain their long balls and that helped us. We only had one player who has played premier league football (Katjiteo), but the boys did not let that affect them, he said.
Gunners coach, Gerhardt Hengari, lamented his teams missed opportunities, saying that goals win games.
We just needed to convert our chances to goals. We need to continue with the hard work that we always put in, he said.
Man of the Match Asser Hara-Ramseb walked away with N.dollars 5 000. He will donate the same amount availed from the sponsors to a charity organisation of his choice.
Gunners received N.dollars 250 000 for their efforts.
Itamunua Keimuine of Tura Magic walked away with the Top Goalscorer award and won N.dollars 20 000 for his five goals; Young Africans Himeezembi Hengombe was voted Player of the Tournament (N.dollars 20 000). Ngarizemo won the Coach of the Tournament (N.dollars 15 000) and Young African goalkeeper, Mata, got the Golden Gloves Award and N.dollars 15 000.