Civics set to show their mettle
Friday, May 12, 2006
NAMIBIAN league champions Civics will be given a chance to prove their credibility when they face an unforgiving Ramblers side, which has been zooming in on snatching the title from them.
The two table-toppers have been sharpening their knives all week and will be expected to assemble their best possible first eleven before the drama unfolds at the Independence Stadium at 17h00 tomorrow.
The match will be a league decider between two of the country's top teams.
The onus will now be on Civics to prove that they can withstand the might of Ramblers, who have been closing in on them in the second round of matches.
Civics are two points ahead and the match will determine who will win the league, irrespective of the outcome of the four games remaining for each of the two clubs before the league ends.
Civics and Ramblers were both knocked out of the NFA Cup, the country's most prestigious tournament, and thus lost out on gunning for a double, provided any of them wins the league.
The much-celebrated Civics will face their moment of truth tomorrow when an in-form Ramblers side is hoping to blow their cover and expose their weaknesses.
Civics, although a formidable outfit with a great record in their various league campaigns over the years, will be expected to show their superiority over Ramblers, a side which is often regarded as secondary despite their talented array of players.
Ramblers ended third in the league last season behind Blue Waters and Civics, and their chances of making it to the top will be realised with a victory over Civics.
Ramblers, unlike Civics, have not tasted any cup victories this season, but their coach Tollie van Wyk earlier indicated that the league title was their priority.
Ramblers won the NFA Cup last season, but Civics only bagged the Humphries Cup this season and also had a good spell in the African Champions League, despite their loss to ASEC Mimosas from Ivory Coast in their second-round match.
The match will be a do-or-die clash for the teams and since both have strong attackers and stable midfielders, the goalkeepers will be left with the responsibility of keeping their teams from going down, let alone surviving until the last minute.
Civics goalie Zico Paulus and Ramblers' Esau Tjiuoro will be the two figures who are expected to make the difference on the day, while the battle for ball domination in midfield will be square.
Civics have a better record for goals conceded which stands at 16, compared to Ramblers, who have let in 20 goals.
The players in midfield for both sides possess the abilities to make or break the game and these include Civics wonder boys such as Rudi Louw and Heini Isaacks, while Ramblers can boast with Victor Helu and the versatile Michael Pienaar.
With Civics being led by William Chilufya and Ramblers by Samson John, the strikers will have to put on their scoring boots or they will face the brunt from their fans, who hate to lose.
The Civics strikers have banged in more goals than their opponents, standing at 45 compared to 42 to Ramblers.
What will matter this time is who will be ending on the winning side.
Article by Corry Ihuhua