Black Africa jumped to the top of the log after beating defending champions Civics 1-0 at Windhoekâ??s Independence Stadium on Wednesday, October 31.
Jerome Louis scored the winning goal midway through the second half after receiving a fine defence splitting pass from Tjono Jagger to coolly slot the ball past Civicsâ?? keeper Esau Tjiouro.
Civics dominated the first half but wasted several chances to take the lead. BA keeper Arnold Subeb was in fine form, bringing off two saves against Bradley Wermann and another off Jerry Matik.
Subeb did well to tip a dipping Sedekia Haukambe freekick for a corner, but BA nearly took the lead against the run of play when Donovan Swartz chipped the ball over Tjiouro, but the ball bounced off the crossbar.
William Chilufya missed another chance when he was put clear in space by Wermann, but couldnâ??t control the ball.
BA strike back
Black Africa were a different team after the break and started pressurising Civicsâ?? defence. Donovan Swartz was in fine form in midfield and at the centre of most of their attacks.
In the 61st minute he combined well with Gella Kandjimi to put Louis clear, whoâ??s shot bounced off the crossbar. Shortly afterwards Swartz exchanged passes with Bryan Bantam, to put Kandjimi clear, but his shot was saved by Tjiouro.
BAâ??s pressure finally paid off when Louis beat the offside trap and latched onto a Tjono Jagger pass to steer the ball past a stranded Tjiouro.
BA had a few more chances, with Swartz blasting the ball over the net, while Louis headed over from a Jagger cross.
Civics coach Helmuth Scharnowski started ringing the changes, bringing on Geoffrey Roman for Salom Henock, Nico Nicodemus for Knowledge Iipinge and Floris Diergaardt for William Chilufya, but to no avail.
In the final minutes Roman found the net after winning a high ball in the box, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on BA goalie Arnold Subeb.
BA go top
The victory saw Black Africa jumping four positions to the top of the log with nine points from four matches. It was Civicsâ?? first defeat of the season and they drop a place down to fourth position with seven points from four matches.
Scharnowski was not impressed with Civicsâ?? performance.
â??We had a lot of chances but could not score a goal. Then we made one mistake and Black Africa punished us. Itâ??s still early in the season, but this defeat could affect our season in the long run,â? he said.
â??But what can you expect with a young team like the one I had tonight. Five of our players are with the national team, while BA had all their players available,â? he said.
â??We have a striker problem that we must rectify,â? he added.
Man of the match
Arnold Subeb had a great game in goal for BA, while Jerome Louis is regaining the form that won him the NFAâ??s Junior Player of the Year last season. But our vote goes to the pint-sized midfielder Donovan Swartz. He was at the heart of their attacks, displayed some lovely touches on the ball and with a bit of luck would have also found the net.
Civics looked out of sorts and struggled without five of their first team players who are on national duty. They also need to sort out their problems up front and on this performance they certainly donâ??t look like championship material.