Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Excellent soccer seen at the Eastern Cape under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial finals this past weekend with the school from Port Elizabeth eventually triumphing and will now represent the province at the national finals

The Eastern Cape provincial finals of the Danone Nations Cup tournament were played in overcast conditions in East London last weekend.

There were 4 teams that immediately showed that they were potential tournament winners: Isaac Booi, Guqaza Junior Secondary School, Ngubetole Bam Junior Secondary School and Sterkspruit Comunity School.

Guqaza looked particularly good and were scoring goals from outside the box at will, which made them very difficult to beat.

Guqaza and Isaac Booi topped the two groups at the end of the group stage of the tournament, scoring 11 goals between them.

Langa Mbangela from Isaac Booi scored the first hat-trick of this year’s tournament in their match against Dedelo Junior Secondary School.

All the goals were scored from free kicks, curving the ball up and around the wall just like you would see from Zinedine Zidane when he was still a player.

The final was the most competitive provincial final of the tournament this year, with both teams having their chances to win the game.

Guqaza took the lead in the first minute of the game which sparked a quick response from Isaac Booi who equalised through Siphelele Cakuma, thanks to an assist from Langa Mbangela and then took the lead through Langa Mbangela - all of this in the first 5 minutes of the game!

From then onwards Guqaza threw wave after wave of attack at Isaac Booi, with the only responses from Isaac Booi coming through counter attacks.

Athule Lugebhu, the Isaac Booi goalkeeper, had a phenomenal game and saved his team on many occasions. Just before full time Guqaza managed to score to make it 2-all and take the game to penalties.

Both teams were very nervous and missed their early attempts, but Isaac Booi had the final say and won the penalty shootout 3-2.

The top goal scorer of the day was shared by Langa Mbangela from Isaac Booi and Athandile Gazula from Guqaza Junior Secondary School with 4 goals each.

Gugu Diko, the Eastern Cape South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) Coordinator for the Danone Nations Cup said he was happy with the young talent coming from the province.

“We have not seen such talent since Barkerville won the Danone Nations Cup National finals in 2011. I am proud to take this team to the national finals. I hope that they can win the national finals and represent South Africa in New York,” he said.

“From now until the national finals SASFA Eastern Province will help to encourage the team to build their confidence so when they play in Gauteng they will not feel overawed by the occasion.

“If I were to say something to the coach right now it would be to keep doing what he is currently doing and make sure that each player understands his role in the team and focuses on that role.”

Ngubetole Bam JSS 2 Bhongweni Primary 0
Guqaza JSS 2 Sterkspruit Comunity School 2 (Guqaza won on penalties)
Maqubela Junior Secondary School 0 Isaac Booi Primary 0 (Maqubela won on penalties)
Ngubetole Bam JSS 0 Guqaza JSS 3
Bhongweni Primary 0 Sterkspruit Comunity School 2
Isaac Booi Primary School 3 Dedelo JSS 0
Sterkspruit Comunity School 0 Ngubetole Bam JSS 0 (Sterkspruit won on penalties)
Guqaza JSS 0 Bhongweni Primary School 0 (Guqaza won on penalties)
Dedelo JSS 0 Maqubela JSS 0 (Dedelo won on penalties)
Final - Isaac Booi Primary School 2 Guqaza JSS 2 (Isaac Booi won on penalties).
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