The second of the four matches billed to take place at the Sam Nujoma Stadium featured Windhoek’s Citizens against Blue Waters from Walvis Bay on the west coast. As we had nothing planned for the afternoon and it would have been madness to give up seats in the shade, Jen and I decided to stay where we were for a second ninety minutes of football.
Most of the spectators from the first game remained in their seats too and we were joined by a handful of new arrivals. I’ve no idea if they were fans of the two teams, although I’ve an inkling that most were just looking for a way to idle away an hour and a half.
A glance around the remainder of the stadium revealed security that struck me as being a little over the top for the circumstances. In the far corner I could see a guard patrolling the perimeter fence whilst twirling a baton. I couldn’t really imagine that anyone would be so desperate to get in for free that he’d be forced to clock them one.
Even if anyone did manage to evade security, they would still have to contend with a moat. A moat! What next? Cauldrons of boiling oil? In reality the moat did nothing more than make the lives of the ball boys even more of a misery that the thirty odd degree heat warranted. I’m convinced one or two of the smaller ones will still be stuck at the bottom of it.
Citizens were in yellow and blue whilst Blue Waters sported an all white kit. I noticed that both keepers were wearing number sixteen shirts. Is this some sort of trend? I remember Bartez wearing sixteen, so maybe he started it off. I wouldn’t have thought that the former France goalie was famous enough for lads in Namibia to want to emulate him. Maybe he’s been cleaning out his loft and sending his old shirts to Africa.
Blue Waters opened the scoring a few minutes in when a ball that was pulled back into the six yard box was turned into his own net by a Citizens defender.
The equaliser came shortly before half time when a Citizen’s midfielder waltzed through the away defence and planted the ball beyond one of the Bartezes. He didn’t celebrate though, preferring instead to quickly gather the ball and sprint back to the centre circle as if his team were three goals down.
I can only presume that being level was somewhat of an embarrassment to the hosts and that by this stage of the game they had expected to be a few goals ahead.
Five minutes later Citizens took the lead that they regarded as their right after someone hit the post and then tucked away the rebound. They allowed themselves a celebration on this occasion.
At half time I had a wander into the lower tier of our stand and was surprised to see another hundred fans or so, although I had no idea which, if either, of the teams they were supporting.
Blue Waters made it two each not long after the restart, squeezing the ball from a tight angle between the other Bartez and his near post. That was it in terms of goals, although we did get a red card in the final few minutes when one of the visiting defenders said something to the referee that I suspect he may have later regretted.
Jen and I decided against staying for a third game as it was time for something to eat and drink. Just as well really, as when I checked the papers the next day the other two games listed didn’t take place. I wasn’t at all surprised.