MPOPOMA HIGH SCHOOL overcame Thekwane High of Plumtree 3-0 to be crowned champions of the inaugural Orap Zenzele Chevrolet Under-20 “World Cup” football tournament held at Gifford High yesterday.
A first half brace by Amos Ncube and a second half goal from the outstanding player of the tournament, Denzel Khumalo, who plays for Premier Soccer League side Bantu Rovers, ensured that the cup went to Mpopoma, as the boys from Thekwane failed to impress in the game.
The two-day football tournament which kicked off on Friday had 12 schools from the Southern Region participating with two girls’ schools Montrose and Magwegwe High playing in a friendly match as curtain raiser to the final.
To get to the finals, Mpopoma beat JZ High of Insiza 1-0 in the quarter-finals before going on to dismiss Nhwali of Gwanda 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals. Thekwane beat Majiji of Bubi 2-0 in the quarter-finals before emerging victorious in another penalty shoot-out beating Milton High 5-1 after the two teams played a 0-0 semi-final.
The tournament was graced by the Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa and his deputy Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga as well as Small and Medium Enterprises minister Sithembiso Nyoni.
“This colourful gathering of young and promising sportspersons is a unique and special occasion. It is made even more special because you are tapping the raw talent of young people, fine tuning it and through exposure, creating a platform for future career development. I thank Nash at its level, for creating such a platform and Orap and AutoWorld for making it possible,” Langa said.
The tournament was designed to coincide with the Fifa World Cup tournament this year hosted in Brazil and is aimed at empowering and inspiring young people to see sport as more than just recreation, but as a tool for development.
Mpopoma got a kit, floating trophy and two boxes of balls while all the other schools were handed a box of ball, each for taking part.
Player of the tournament and Golden Boot winner Khumalo of Mpopoma got away with a trophy and a grocery hamper courtesy of Arenel sweets and biscuits.