Coastal derby cup tie delivers thrilling soccer action
19 September 2021 | Sports
Armando Pedro; Blue Waters assistant coach; “… credit to Western Spurs for putting up a good fight and a superb performance.”
Namibian Premier League soccer side Blue Waters overcame a stubborn Southern Stream First Division contender Western Spurs with 6-5 in a sudden death penalty shootout.
The two coastal sides met in an MTC NFA Cup Round of 16 encounter and were spurred on by vociferous soccer hungry fans at Jan Wilken stadium in Walvis Bay.
Western Spurs entered the match as underdogs against the much fancied “Beautiful Birds”, featuring the likes of former Brave Warriors striker Hendrik Somaeb as captain.
A diving Blue Waters goalie Calvin Spiegel went the right way and blocked a penalty shot of Western Spurs midfielder Brandon Cowan in the sudden death shootout that followed, after the match finished in a goalless stalemate at fulltime.
His save clinched a hard fought 6-5 victory and ensured that Blue Waters progress to the Round of 8 in the MTC NFA Cup competition.
The match was played at a blistering pace with both teams creating some scoring chances but failing to put the ball into the back of the net.
Somaeb unsuccessfully tested Fransman from the edge of the box in the early stages of the match, while a goalmouth scramble on the other end in the box of Blue Waters, culminated in a thwarted attempt.
With the game progressing Western Spurs grew in confidence and managed to contain and frustrate Blue Waters. This resulted in a number of harsh tackles and some cautions from referee Apollo Lungameni.
He waved away a number of penalty shouts from both sides before showing a red card to the Blue Waters coach Paulus Shipanga for foul language in the 40th minute.
Shipanga had to watch the rest of the match from the stands.
In the ensuing penalty shootout (4-4), both goalkeepers – Spiegel for Blue Waters and Diego Fransman for Western Spurs – saved penalties to force the game into a nail-biting climax.
Western Spurs coach Gideon Gariseb named captain Alexander Melani as his player of the match and said that the game was a very emotional affair.
“I am very proud of my players. If they can manage to hold Blue Waters, it shows they can go on and conquer any team out there. The players have shown that they are man enough to compete at top level. I am inviting residents and football fans to throw their weight behind us as a club.”
Gariseb said he was looking to move forward with the team.
“The players will enjoy some time off and return to the training grounds on the 25th of this month. We will then start our preparations for our transitional league game against Khomas Nampol in Windhoek.”
Blue Waters assistant coach Armando Pedro said it was a tough game and named goal keeper Spiegel as his man of the match.
“In the end we are and work as a unit so the whole team deserves credit. We believed in our potential and knew if we would go to penalties we would manage. We also have to give credit to Western Spurs for putting up a good fight and a superb performance. They are a good team and should not be undermined. All they need to do is work on their fitness levels.”
Pedro expressed the hope that league and competition matches would not be curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic again.
“Training and playing competitive matches are different things. It’s difficult to train and manage players amidst the havoc cause by the pandemic.”
Other MTC NFA Cup Round of 16 results
Khuse defeated Nossob 4-2
Mighty Gunners defeated New Pioson 6-2
Tigers defeated Supe 11 3-0
Young African defeated Ohangwena Nampol 5-4 on penalties
Young Brazillinas defeated Black Africa 4-0.