SuperSport Schools Plus

Siphiwe Tshabalala Soccer Tournament’s four champions crowned

By Siya Pongco , in Football | Featured Football | News , at 2024-07-08 Tags: ,

Cape Town Skeleton made the long trip from the Mother City worthwhile by capturing the u17 honours.
Cape Town Skeleton made the long trip from the Mother City worthwhile by capturing the u17 title.

The Siphiwe Tshabalala Soccer Tournament concluded with a tension-filled last day of competition on Sunday at the Kgotso Grounds in Phiri, Soweto, with the prize of gold up for grabs across all of the four divisions.

In its ninth edition, the tournament, organised by the Siphiwe Tshabalala Foundation, exceeded expectations and showcased the continuing growth of the esteemed winter schools’ football competition.

Apart from the local Gauteng sides, the tournament also featured teams from the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and the Free State.

It finished in style with the presence of notable personalities, including Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, football icons’ Doctor Khumalo, Lucas Radebe, and Edward Motale, and current players, among them, Kermit Erasmus.

A special legends’ match between Betway, one of the sponsors, and a Shabba XI, provided an exciting opportunity for the young talent to witness their idols in action. The tournament’s founder and organiser, Siphiwe Tshabalala, along with his former club and national teammates, captivated the youth with their football skills, showing that they still have what it takes.

Among those in action were Thuso Phala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kermit Erasmus, and Doctor Khumalo, all of whom donned the green and gold of Bafana Bafana.

In the battle for the titles, the finals were challenging and thrilling with little to separate the contestants in the title-deciders.

In the u15 boys’ final, Soweto Shining Stars faced off against Meadowlands Academy. At the end of regulation time, neither team had conceded a goal, which led to a penalty shootout. Meadowlands Academy claimed the honours from the spot by a 4-3 margin.

The u17 boys’ final was similarly tight and neither Cape Town Skeleton nor KVK Academy scored in regulation time. The boys from the Mother City, however, grabbed the title with a 3-1 win on penalties.

Thobile Molefe, the Goalkeeper of the Tournament (feft), and Leticia Sooane, the Player of the Tournament

The Ladies’ division delivered an intriguing final between Diepkloof Ladies and Mito Stars.

Those who follow women’s soccer in the SASOL region of Gauteng and beyond are familiar with the teams, who tend to bring out the best in their rivals.

On this occasion, Diepkloof Ladies emerged victorious, capturing their first title of 2024 after a 4-3 penalty shootout win to boost their sterling record in finals.

In 2023, they achieved a treble by winning the Linda Mntambo Soccer Foundation Tournament, the Clinix Stix Morewa Soccer Challenge and the Nkanhlamawaka Festive Games. They also made it to two other finals – the 20th Walter Sisulu Discovery Soccer Tournament and the Gauteng Women’s Soccer Tournament. – but were tripped up at the final hurdle.

In the u20 division, the championship match featured Mike Stars and Nicaragua. A single goal decided the contest, with Samkelo Mkhulise netting in the first half to win the title for Mike Stars.

It was a tale of two halves, with Mike Stars dominating the opening stanza, but Nicaragua came back strongly after half-time to create some promising goal scoring opportunities as they searched for an equaliser.

Full Results

u15 – Meadowlands Academy 0(4) – 0(3) Soweto Shining Stars
u17 – Cape Town Skeleton 0(3) – 0(1) KVK Academy
u20 – Mike Stars 1-0 Nicaragua

Ladies Division

Diepkloof Ladies 0(4) – 0(3) Mito Stars

Siya Pongco