High-scoring Newspaper Cup promises more

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The 2017 The Namibian Newspaper Cup got off to a riveting start as 32 goals were scored in just nine matches on Good Friday at the Vineta Sports Stadium in Swakopmund in front of the appreciative, packed to the rafters crowd that also braced the elements into a memorable night.

The host region, Erongo got their campaign off to a great start when they thrashed Kavango East 3-0 with all first half goals from Matheus Haihambo, Isaskar Gurirab and Man of the match Rivaldo Festus in Group B.

Omaheke and Kunene opened their Newspaper Cup accounts with a 1-1 draw with attacking midfielder Ricardo Prins Jassie putting Omaheke ahead midway through the first half with a deflected low shot from just inside the area and later on Kunene star man Giovani Kaninab, found the equalizer for Kunene just before the break. Goalkeeper Kamaijanda Ndisiro in goals for Omaheke, won the Man of the Match accolade for his heroics in goal.

In Group B game and the final match of the Day at the venue, Kunene and Kavango East drew 2-2 in a captivating encounter. Man of the Match Giovanni Kaninab Kunene after they fell behind thanks to Maximilian Napemba early on. Alexander Musinga got Kunene level at 1-1 but Charles Hausiku put East ahead that they held onto until the Kaninab equalizer to the share of the spoils.

In Group A, a lone goal by striker Oscar Machili handed Zambezi a well-deserved victory over defending champions Oshana. Later on Korbinian Amuulu's stunning second half strike helped the Omusati region open their Newspaper Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over Hardap.

Attacking midfielder Menas Naupu headed Omusati ahead before Marcel Kisting drew Hardap level. But it Man of the Match Amuulu who got the winner for Omusati.

In a high-scoring match on the opening day , Omusati Region lost 5-3 against rivals Oshana, the latter, staying alive in the competition, while Hardap trashed Zambezi 6-0 in a one-sided encounter under the floodlights.

Man of the Match Romario Mouton, opened the scoring shortly after the kick off for Hardap and it was soon 2-0 thanks to Marcello Kisting added the second six minutes later. Mouton got his brace and in the second half and Kisting too scored his second too and then Chris Jacobs was next to score two goals to lead Hardap to a 6-0 win over Zambezi.

Another Man of the Match Penda ya France scored twice to lead Oshana to a come-from-behind 5-3 thrashing of Omusati and keep alive their hopes of progressing to the semis. Omusati scoring early through captain Daniel Kamanya but Ya France pulled the sides level before Puiepawa Junias restored Omusati’ s lead, and it was then 2-2 as Immanuel Kalla equalized for Oshana.

The free-scoring match then saw Kamanya grabbed his second goal of the game, and after the restart Oshana got back square through Pius Thomas. Substitute Kanisius Kakelo made it 4-3 for Oshana and later on Ya France completed his brace to make it 5-3.

In Group C, Ohangwena and Karas did battle and goals from Elias Stephanus for Karas and Matthias Shikongo equalized for Ohangwena Region to make sure Group C, which also have Otjozondjupa remains open. Karas defender Mitchell Mettler won the Man of the Match award for his role in defense and leading Karas by example.