African Stars set themselves up with a mouth watering cup tie against rival Orlando Pirates after, beating Eleven Arrows 2-1 in the Bidvest Namibia Cup on Saturday night at the Sam Nujoma stadium.
Former Arrows defender, Freedom Puriza and substitute, Levis ‘Maraai’ Swartbooi, scored for the defending champions of the Bidvest Namibia Cup from two well-taken free kicks.
Puriza scored a screamer of a free kick in the 27th minute, leaving the Arrows goalkeeper, Fanuel Merero, with very little to do.
Seven minutes later, Arrows striker Sheya Andima leveled the scoring board with an easy finish after Stars’ defenders failed to clear a Valton van Staden free kick inside their box.
Stars coach, Woody Jacobs, made three changes in the second-half by bringing in three attackers; Swartbooi in place of Elvis Tjivasera, Ninja Karongee for Godwin Jene and Edison Muheua for Edwin Korokuve.
Woody’s substitutes paid off, as they began to command the match’s direction almost immediately. After a sustained pressure, Stars were awarded a free kick just outside Arrows’ penalty box.
Swartbooi, who won the free kick, dispatched it to seal the win in the 89th minute, setting up an all-Katutura derby against bitter rivals, Orlando Pirates.
Arrows goalkeeper Merero did his part to keep Arrows alive with several key saviors but the coastal club’s attack lacked the necessary sharpness, albeit hitting the post twice.
Pirates booked their place in the last 16 two weeks ago after demolishing Eeshoke Chulachula FC of Ohangwena Region 8-0.
The cup tie between Stars and Orlando’s date and venue will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday).
After their Bidvest Cup match, the two Katutura giants will square off again in the MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) later in the season.
Stars have already lost to Pirates this season; when the two clubs met last October on the opening day of the NPL in a match that ended at 2-1. They look to be favourites going into their cup tie, having only lost once in their last six games in all competitions this season.
Pirates, however, have a red hot attack, with striker Gustav Isaak, scorer of four goals against Chulachula, in the form of his life. Their coach, Ali Akan, is on the verge of becoming the first coach to win two successive Bidvest cups after leading Stars to glory last year and ending the club’s five-year dry spell.
Other results of the Bidvest Cup:
Black Africa 2-1 Cuca Tops
Mountain Rangers 6-2 Bush Bucks
Blue Waters 0-2 Ramblers
Tigers 2-2 United Stars
Tura Magic 1-0 Blue Boys