Civics pull off dramatic victory
20.05.2008 Cortesy by Namibiasport
Civics showed great character to come from behind and a man down to beat Ramblers on penalties in their MTC NFA Cup semifinal at the Khomasdal Stadium on Saturday.
Their young winger Lovers Kumanga was sent off in the 16th minute after foolishly remonstrating with the referee, while Pineas Jacob gave Ramblers the lead with a great strike on 35 minutes. But Brian Brendell got the equaliser in injury time of the first half when he coolly stabbed in a cross by Floris Diergaardt.
The second half had barely started before Civics were awarded a penalty for a foul in the box. Floris Diergaardt hit the back of the net, but referee Matthew Katjimune ordered that the kick be retaken. The second time around, Diergaardt hit the post.
Ramblers had most of the possession and attacked Civics at every opportunity but Civics’ defence, with Jamu Ngatjizeko and Erastus Ndjavera superb, stood firm. Civics’ keeper Esau Tjiouro also had a great game, saving bravely at Jacob’s feet with minutes remaining.
The match went into extra time and Ramblers threw everything into the attack. Bernadine Mbilizi had a shot saved, a cross by Jeremia Baisako was scrambled away, while Tjiouro pulled off a great save from a John Samson header. But they could not break through and the match had to be decided on penalties.
The drama continued unabated in the shootout. Erastus Ndjavera scored for Civics and Donelly Nell for Ramblers, but Jamu Ngatjizeko hit the post to give Ramblers an early advantage. Nelson Akwenye however kicked wide of the goals to put the teams level again.
Franklin April and Jeremia Baisako traded goals and Civics went ahead when Victor Helu scored from the spot. Raymond Awaseb kicked wide to give Civics the advantage but Patrick Mkontwana also kicked wide to put the teams level once again.
Civics’ keeper Tjiuoro however pulled off a great save from Bernadine Mbilizi’s shot to give Civics a dramatic 3-2 victory on penalties. There were wild scenes of celebration on the pitch and amongst Civics’ fans in the 1 000 strong crowd while Ramblers’ players were utterly dejected.