The heat is on for SSFD top three

Otis Daniels
It is crunch time for the Southern Stream First Division title contenders with only one of twelve teams coming in contention for promotion to the Debmarine Namibia Premier Football League as this season draws to a close.

Coastal contenders Blue Boys (or “Ospana Yetu” as they are affectionately known to fans and foes alike) will first have to dodge some neighbourly “Arrows” and then escape from the cuffs of “the prison warders”, who are also strongly in the run for the single promotional place up for grabs.

The paths of the two leading teams with the strongest chance of clinching promotion – Blue Boys and Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) – will cross on 19 May at Mondesa Stadium in what promises to be a mouthwatering affair and a possible title decider.

These teams are tied at the top with 47 points each, while NCS holds a slight edge with one game in hand. The pacesetters have their work cut out for them with only four rounds of matches remaining and the pressure is on both teams to secure the sole right to NPFL promotion.

The boys in blue kept their hopes alive with another double in victories last weekend. They defeated Davos by 3-0 and scored a 6-1 win over DTS. Coach Paige Niilege reckons his charges will be up for the task.

“The guys are switched on and we are in a positive space. We are focused on grabbing maximum points against Eleven Arrows. We played to a 2-2 draw against them in the first leg and we will give our best to ensure a victory this time.”

Niilenge added that his squad has a good game plan for the possibly title-defining encounter against the prison warders.

“We found the going tough against NCS in the first leg because we had not played them before. We now have an idea of what to expect and I am sure it will be one of the best games for the season.”

Last weekend, Namibia Correctional Service maintained momentum with a 4-0 victory against Latinos.

“Our immediate focus is on overcoming Dates Eleven and Mariental. We are ready to tackle them and determined to win. Securing six points against them will give us the edge against Blue Boys who we beat 2-0 in the first round because then we will only need a draw and winning the league will be a formality for us,” said a confident NCS coach, Axaro Mukoya.

Namibian Correctional Service takes on Dates Eleven on 11 May (15:00) and Mariental Sport Club at the Mariental Sport Stadium on 12 May (14:00). Blue Boys take on neighbours Eleven Arrows (third on the log) on 9 May at Jan Wilken Stadium (15:00).

Arrows suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of DTS and defeated Davos with 2-1 in their last two matches. The loss dealt to them by DTS effectively ended Arrows’ chances of clinching the title and left them stuck on 37 points with three games left.

“It is a derby game against Blue Boys. Pride is at stake and we will definitely bring our A game. The best team will win on the day. We aim to finish strong and we’ll use this match to prepare for our PstBet NFA Cup round-of-16 fixture against Mighty Gunners,” said Rudolf Bester, the coach of Arrows.

On 18 May, Blue Boys take on Latinos at Mondesa stadium (15:00) while Arrows will take aim at Namibian Correctional Service at Jan Wilken Stadium (15:00).

“The prison warders should be ready because we will be out to shoot them down,” Bester said.