Early on Wednesday morning, Momentum Asset Management’s Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Rukoro applauded African Stars for their qualification and participation in the African Champions League (CAF).
Rukoro said that Stars have proven to be a serious and well managed soccer club over the last couple of years when they won both the Namibia premier league Cup and the Debmarine Cup in 2017 and 2018.
Stars have demonstrated that they are a disciplined, committed and dedicated football club which can compete both at local and international level, Rukoro indicated.
He further alluded that the qualities and characters of African Stars are in line with Momentum’s business philosophy in providing the Namibian public with the right financial advice in order for them to achieve financial freedom and aspirations.
Rukoro believes that Momentum Namibia is the right partner to be on board and it is ready to take care of the short and long term financial needs of African Stars football club.
Rukoro told the media that the company took a strategic decision to partner up with Stars as the two parties agreed on a long term commercial interest such as branding rights, access to the club’s membership data base and advertising opportunities, saying that the relationship will strengthen their brands.
Momentum Namibia’s General Manager of Corporate Services, Ingah Ekandjo stated that they were looking at a long term relationship.
“Today, Momentum and Africa Stars will join forces, hopefully not just in the short but in the long term. We are mindful that it might a long period before they can make a mark and their presence felt on the continent.
We are willing to walk this journey with them because their success becomes Namibian football’s accomplishment” Ekandjo said.
African Stars to meet Orlando Pirates
African Stars became the first Namibian football club to progress to the next round of the CAF Champions league when they defeated Volcan Club de Moroni, of the Comoro Islands by two goals to one in Windhoek on Wednesday night.
Two first half goals from the Zimbabwean international, Chrispen Mbewe and Midfielder stalwart, Gustav Isaack earned African Stars their hard-fought victory against a well-organised Comoro Islands’ Volcan at the Sam Nujoma stadium and set up a potential date against the South African powerhouse, Orlando Pirates.
Stars started the match like a house on fire, passing the ball quickly and they took a lead within five minutes of the first interval when Chrispen Mbewe scored a thunderous strike and gave the 2nd leg tie the goal that was needed to make the game a Champions league contest.
However, Stars’ lead only lasted for eight minutes before the visitors proved that they are not pushovers and they scored an equaliser in the 13th minute courtesy of Diaritiana Solonaina Rakotonahary to the frustration of the Stars coach, Robert Nauseb and their passionate, noisy ‘Starlie’ supporters.
Volcan Club de Morini’s equaliser had Nauseb and Stars’ Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Kozonguizi scratching their heads and contemplating on how to turn the tie into their favour.
Both the players and the coaching staff knew that a one-all draw between the two teams will eventually eliminate Stars and make their opponents progress to the next round of the Confederation of African football’s premium competition.
With their eagerness and determination, the NPL Champions restored their advantage three minutes before the end of the first half when undoubtedly Man of the Match, Gustav Isaack scored Stars’ second goal of the match and the winner.
This booked their place in the next phase of the CAF Champions league qualifying preliminary round, much to the delight of the home-side fans.
In the Second half, Volcan Club de Morini started on the front foot, looking to reduce the deficit and get the allusive goal to equalise for the second time, but the African Stars defence was intact and compact. They kept the opponent at bay for 20 minutes of the second interval until the Islanders began to show a little bit of urgency and realised that they were running out of time.
In his post-game interview, Robert Nauseb told The Patriot that he was delighted with the victory which was the main objective of the night.
“The boys were overconfident and they forgot a little bit on the things we worked on.
They never stuck to the instructions. I told them about things we have picked up when we played against them in the first leg.
I was disappointed because players waited until the second half to apply the instructions. However, I am happy with a win”.
He added that they will celebrate the win and turn their focus onto the league game against their arch-rivals Black Africa this weekend.
When questioned about the next assignment which is against one of the biggest clubs participating in the African football’s Champions league, Nauseb said Olrando Pirates are an open book compare to his team, adding that the boys know the pedigree of the task ahead and they do watch their potential opponent’s league games in the South African Premier soccer league.
Everyone knows who Orlando Pirates are both continentally and internationally but that because Stars are a closed book compared to Pirates, they could beat them.
According to Stars’ Captain Ronald Katjijere, they played a tough game and they got the job done in the 90 minutes of competitive football.
He said that they were under pressure when their opponent equalised, knowing what was at stake motivated the team to win the game. He added that the next game will be tougher, adding that they will go out and play their game.
“Orlando Pirates play in a professional league and they will undermine us. We will capitalise on that.
They do not know us and we will use that element to our advantage to take the game away from them” he said.