A brace by second-half substitute, Johannes Seibeb, helped African Stars to a comfortable 2-0 win over Atletico Petroleos de Luanda of Angola in the first leg encounter of the Confederations of African Football (CAF) preliminary round at the Sam Nujoma stadium in Windhoek on Friday night.
Stars achieved the feat despite Coach Woody Jacobs’ lack of his key players, such as Joslin Kamatuka and Eslin Kamuhanga, thanks to injuries.
Seibeb came on for Jamu Ngatjizeko in the second half and scored his first goal in the 79th minute when he headed in from a corner-kick, just after eight minutes on the pitch, to send Stars’ supporters into wild celebrations.
It only took him another seven minutes to score his second goal, following a blistering run past the Petroleos defense, to round up a vital win ahead of their return leg in Angola on the 15th February.
Stars went into the game at the back of six successive league games without losing in the domestic league.
Stars started with a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Riaan Cloete ahead of MTC/Namibia Premier League top goal scorer, Elvis Tjivasera, with five goals.
Max Mbaeva minded the goals ahead of national team shot-stopper, Athiel Mbaha, who has been on the bench since the opening of the MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) in a 2-1 lose against Orlando Pirates.
Mbaeva did not disappoint on Friday night, keeping his first clean sheet from three games he has featured in so far, after doubt over his future at the club.
After the game, Mbaeva said his side’s victory was not surprising, as the team worked hard and was committed at the training ground.
Asked about his chances in the national team, Mbaeva said he is only focusing on becoming number one at the club but does not rule out a national team call-up.
“I just want to play regular football at the club. It depends on whether or not the national coach wants me but I will continue to work hard,” said the 29 year-old.
While Stars emerged victorious, their NPL counterparts and current champions, Black Africa, suffered defeat after being gunned down 3-0 by South African Premier Soccer League side, Kaizer Chiefs, in the first leg of the preliminary round of the CAF at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night in Johannesburg.
The home side took the lead through Mandla Masango in the 18th minute while Kingston Nkhatha scored a brace, the first in the 33rd minute and in the 85th minute. BA will now face an uphill battle to overturn the score line in the return leg scheduled for 15th February.