Civics to focus on league
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Namibia's premiership champions Civics will now turn their focus to the league campaign after they bowed out 4-0 on aggregate against Ivorian champs ASEC Mimosas in a CAF Champions League second round match at the Independence Stadium on Sunday.
Civics went down 3-0 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast a fortnight ago, but contained the opposition well this time, only allowing them to squeeze in a solitary goal through midfielder Umo Emmanuel, early in the second half.
Ramblers are two points behind Civics, but both teams have five matches to play before the league closes at the end of this month.
Despite the loss, the Namibians have drawn great lessons from the their opponents who were technically better. In fact, Civics will be satisfied with their performance in general, but hats off to their younger players who stood firm in times of difficulty.
Players who stood out were Vladi Abrahams, who bravely took on the opposing strikers in his defensive role, while Heinrich Isaacs once again proved that he is a must for the senior national team despite his height. The most notable aspect between both Isaacs (currently top goalscorer in the league with 11 goals) and Abrahams was that they did not feel intimidated by their more physical counterparts, while they also showed that getting the basics right is a key component of good players.
Civics needed at least four goals to go through to the next round, but their more experienced opponents had a better strategy which was aimed at containing the home side until the last whistle. Civics in total had about five chances in both halves, but their strikers struggled to find their feet when given the opportunity. Civics will be hoping to qualify for the next competition next year, but they first need to successfully defend the league as they attempt to go for a triple.
Although some players are injured at this stage, Civics face Oshakati City in an away match on Saturday, before they host strugglers Chief Santos at the Independence Stadium on Sunday. Civics top the league with 32 points from their 13 matches but their closest rivals, Ramblers, have 29 points, but are one match ahead. At this stage, Ramblers are the real threat to Civics as they have upped their game tremendously in their last few matches, with their strikers being on target 38 times, compared to Civics who have scored 33 goals to date.
Article by Corry Ihuhua