Posts Tagged ‘Namibia Premier League’

UNAM FC v Touch and Go, Sunday 8th February 2015, 2pm

March 11, 2015

1 - opening shot

Most of the football teams in the Namibian Premier League are based in Windhoek. That’s not surprising as most Namibians are based in Windhoek. The geographical imbalance meant that Jen and I got the chance to see another game on the Sunday before we headed south in the direction of the Fish River Canyon.

In theory we could have seen two games at the University of Namibia Stadium. There was a match between Rebels and Julinho Sporting Club scheduled for noon followed by the UNAM FC v Touch and Go fixture straight afterwards at two o’clock. We got there at 11:30am only to find the ticket windows unmanned and to be told by a steward that they would open ‘just now’.

View from outside.

View from outside.

‘Just now’ is about as vague as it gets over here. ‘Now now’ is the expression for imminently, whilst ‘just now’ could mean anything from ten minutes to next week.

Forty five minutes later the window opened and we bought our thirty dollar (£1.70) tickets. The latest advice was that a game would start at half past twelve and this was backed up by the information on the ticket. It’s a shame that nobody had mentioned it to the newspapers.

3 - ticket

The stand appeared to have been constructed from chipboard, but at least it had a roof. I was prepared to risk it disintegrating to get a bit of shade though. There weren’t many people in there early on but the crowd swelled to around a hundred or so eventually.

Perhaps someone had been expecting more people to turn up as there were a dozen baton wielding security men lining the gravel running track. Still, I suppose you never know what japes students will get up to next.

View across the chipboard stand.

View across the chipboard stand.

Half past twelve came and went without any sign of the players. Eventually the UNAM team appeared for a warm-up with the obligatory university team nickname ‘Clever Boys’ on their training tops.

The game finally started at two o’clock, which I suppose is just as the newspaper stated. It was the cancellation of the noon game beforehand and the misinformation about the actual start time that was so frustrating. We could have stayed at the cricket had we known that nothing would happen until mid-afternoon.

View to the right.

View to the right.

UNAM were in white with red shorts whilst Touch and Go were in yellow and maroon hoops. Anyway, Touch and Go? Who would name a team something like that? Jimmy Savile?

View to the left.

View to the left.

The pitch was in poor condition, although I suppose the Namibian climatic combination of strong sunshine and infrequent but heavy rain isn’t really conducive to a Wembley standard pitch. Maybe the university should offer a groundsman degree and get those students to spend their days looking after the grass.

Early action.

Early action.

Watching the two o’clock game hadn’t really been in our plans as we needed to get on the road, but there was no way that I was going to hang around for two and a half hours without seeing some football and so we stayed for the first fifteen minutes. Nothing worth mentioning happened and we left with the game goalless. I checked afterwards and and learned that Touch and Go had won three-nil.

 

Citizens v Blue Waters, Saturday 7th February 2015, 3.45pm

February 27, 2015

1 - citizens v blue waters

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.

The view to our right.

The view to our right.

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.

This one looked like he'd had enough.

This one looked like he’d had enough.

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 physio was more glamorous than they usually are.

The physio was more glamorous than they usually are.

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.

Meanwhile, the big hole hadn't got any bigger.

Meanwhile, the big hole in the terracing hadn’t got any bigger.

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.