Farook leads Pirates in Battle Royale
Orlando Pirates’ new Malawian import Chikondi ‘Farook’ Likwemba’s 26-metre screamer was enough to silence ten-men African Stars at Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday night.
The midfielder beat Max Mbaeva with what could contest as goal of the week in the 65th minute, before Stars pulled back in the 71st minute with a Joslin Kamatuka bicycle kick.
Still, the night belonged to the Pirates debutant, Farook as he forced veteran Razundara Tjikuzu to chase shadows before Stars changed their game plan replacing Tjikuzu with Johannes Seibeb.
A determined Pirates had taken the lead through trusted talisman Ronaldo Tsowaseb on the stroke of half time after a goal-mouth scramble, before Farook summed up his brilliant night.
A hungry Eslim Kamuhanga who came in for Bradley Werman in the 70th minute managed to temporarily subdue Farook, hence the 71th goal.
Kamuhanga had more shots on target than any of his team-mates in the 20 minutes that he was on the pitch.
While Stars will have Jamu Ngatjizeko to blame after failing to negotiate a Freedom Puriza cross, with the goal at his mercy, in the first half, Woody Jacobs has more homework to do on his charges’ discipline after Deon Hotto was red carded for shoving referee Jona Siwogedi following a disallowed goal, 15minutes from time.
Stars fans would argue the match could have gone either way, had Hotto maintained his cool, but with Farook having a game of his life, Pirates were sure to walk out tops.
This becomes the second time in 11 matches that Pirates have beaten Stars, who hold a six match winning streak over their neighbours.
“Definitely I will be scoring many goals this season. We played according to the coach’s instructions and this result is a sign that we are capable of winning the title,” said Farook, who was with Pirates coach Ali Akan, at FC AK in South Africa a few seasons back.
The nomadic midfielder has played in Mozambique for champions Ferroviario da Beira and was also a hit in Zimbabwe at Platinum FC.
This becomes his fifth league in southern Africa.
Full results of other NPL games :
Black Africa 4-1 Rundu Chiefs,
Eleven Arrows 0-1 Civics, Blue Boys 0-1 Tura Magic, United Stars 1-2 Tigers
Ramblers 1-1 Blue Waters.