Black Africa have suddenly emerged as the favourites to win the MTC Premiership after pulling away from the pack at the top of the log. After the dismissal of Ricardo Mannetti as coach at the end of last year, Brian Isaacs was brought in as technical advisor and he got off to a winning, if somewhat lucky start as Black Africa beat both SKW and Tigers after last minute goals.
With former log leaders Ramblers stumbling to defeats against Blue Boys and Tigers, Black Africa have now moved four points clear at the top of the log and although Ramblers still have a match in hand, the momentum has now shifted to Black Africa.
With their star studded squad and depth on the bench they will be the team to catch while Ramblers’ lack of depth could count against them.
But then again, nothing can be taken for granted in this season’s title race as results have rarely gone to script while some big upsets have been recorded. With only three points separating the next seven teams, the title race is still wide open, while the relegation battle has become just as intense. Blue Boys and Mighty Gunners, who beat Black Africa 1-0 at home, have recorded some big upsets, which has seen both overtaking Oshakati City who are now at the bottom of the log.
The Brave Warriors, meanwhile lost their first match under caretaker coach Brian Isaacs with a 2-1 home defeat against Malawi in February, but not a lot should be read into that result. The match took place in near unplayable conditions at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, with driving rain and pools of water submerging parts of the pitch.
It was an embarrassment to host an international match in these conditions and something drastic needs to be done about the poor drainage system to ensure that it does not happen again.
Our national hockey sides competed at the Indoor World Cup for the first time and our women’s team made history by defeating Uruguay 1-0 to record Namibia’s first ever victory at the highest level. But while this was cause for celebration, there was also cause for concern as some of the other results were quite embarrassing. The men for instance lost 18-0 to Germany, 10-0 to Poland and 13-0 to the Netherlands, while the women lost 17-1 to Germany and 12-0 to Belarus.
The World Cup just re-emphasised the gulf in class between the top hockey nations and Namibia, a gulf that can only be bridged by regular competition. It is actually quite remarkable that Namibia could compete at all, bearing in mind that it does not even have an astroturf, and hopefully this anomaly in today’s hockey world will be remedied soon.
In rugby, the Namibian Welwitschias got off to a great start as they beat the defending Vodacom Cup champions the Blue Bulls 17-12 in a friendly match in February. The result just underlined that their hard work during the off season is starting to bear fruit and it will have boosted their confidence ahead of the 2011 Vodacom Cup which starts in earnest this month.
There is a lot more to read in the March issue ranging from cycling and cricket to volleyball and swimming, as well as our regular columns on Sport Science, Local Shorts, Spotlight On and the MTC Player of the Month competition. So till next time, enjoy the mag!
Our website www.namibiasport.com.na has shown unprecedented growth over the past month as we set several new records. By February 22, we had already recorded more than 100 000 Unique Visitors, at an average of 4 700 per day, which was way above our previous record of 2 500 per day.
At the same time we had also recorded a massive 2 750 700 Total Hits, at an average of 131 000 per day, which was more than double our previous record of 57 000 Total Hits per day.
Our Facebook page has become a growing meeting point for Namibian sport fans to exchange their views on the latest issues and results.
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