Windhoek — Katutura glamour football club African Stars will open the defence of their Namibia Premier League (NPL) Cup in a relatively winnable three team Group-D made up of football's lightweights Eleven Arrows and PC Blue Boys.

The draw was conducted in Windhoek yesterday and saw the 2nd edition of the annual league's opener being slightly adjusted with the 12 teams campaigning in the country's topflight league divided into four groups of three teams each, with only the top four finishers from last season's campaign seeded.

Namibian champions Black Africa top Group-B alongside United Stars and Civics with Tigers fancying their chances of an easy path to the semifinals at the expense of minnows Rundu Chiefs and hoodoo team Tura Magic. FNB Orlando Pirates heads Group-A, featuring the blue side of the NPL with Ramblers and LHU Blue Waters completing the line-up.

The opening group matches are slated for the Sam Nujoma stadium in Katutura on Friday the 13th of this month and will be followed by the decisive second round the weekend thereafter. The semifinals will be played on the weekend of September 27/28 with the final scheduled for October 5 2013. The overall winner will receive a paltry N$50 000, while the runner-up will pocket a consolation prize of N$20 000.

Meanwhile, the Brave Warriors have been dealt a big blow ahead of their 2014 FIFA Africa World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Nairobi on Sunday following the withdrawal of defender and captain Da Costa Angula.

The burly defender was ruled out yesterday after a scan revealed that he has suffered a strain on his lower abdominal muscle. Coach Ricardo Mannetti said Angula's absence is a big worry but could also open the chance for other fringe players to raise their hands.

"We have four other central defenders at our disposal in the shape of Dudes Mwedihanga, Chris Katjiukua, Emilio Martin and Pekka Hamukwaya and they must stand up and be counted as this once again proves the depth in the squad with versatile players that can be employed in various positions," Mannetti enthused.