In the Debmarine Premiership clash on Saturday, African Stars’ head coach Mervin Mbakere expressed that their win against Orlando Pirates was pivotal in establishing themselves as strong contenders for the league title.
After defeating Pirates 2-0 at SKW Stadium, with Joslin Kamatuka scoring two goals in the second half, Stars solidified their lead position with 52 points in 20 matches.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Mbakera revealed that the match had a slow start for his team, making it difficult for them to find their footing. However, the second half saw a change in dynamics as they played a different game, which led to their opening goals and eventual win. Mbakera acknowledged that Pirates had the best chances in the first half but believed that his team’s technical tweak made all the difference in the end.
“We couldn’t find our groove in the first half, which allowed Pirates to have two good chances. However, we only needed a minor technical tweak to get our game back on track. Although Pirates had the best chances in the first half, we also had a couple of opportunities, but we couldn’t capitalise on them. In the second half, we changed our dynamic and played a different game, which eventually led us to score the opening goal and the second,” he explained.
Saturday’s victory was crucial for Stars’ strategy to win the much-anticipated premier league, according to Mbakera. He praised his team’s spirit of working together, which showed remarkable unity.
“We have a clear strategy in place to win the league, and winning Saturday’s match was a significant step towards fulfilling that mandate. I believe that our victory sends a message that we are serious contenders for the trophy and have been striving for it since the beginning of the season,” he declared.
On the other hand, Pirates’ coach Woody Jacobs admitted that it was an unfortunate situation for his team as they were unable to collect maximum points. He expressed satisfaction with the way his team fought and hoped they learn from their mistakes to rectify them in their next match.
“We played good football against Stars, but as we know, playing well doesn’t necessarily win matches. Despite controlling the game, we faced significant challenges getting the ball in the net,” he said.
In other matches, Tura Magic secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Okahandja United, while Young Brazilian and Tigers battled it out to a thrilling 2-all draw.