The eight schools soccer football showpiece came to birth through a joint partnership with the AmaZulu Community Trust and Rainbow Chicken which was launched as a skills mentorship programme in August, ended in emphatic fashion as Gabi Gabi High School were crowned the ultimate champions and the worthy recipients of the R10 000 prizemoney.
After narrowly advancing past Chief Luthayi High School by a 1-0 margin courtesy of a Sphamandla Shozi goal in their quarterfinal match their fate seemed uncertain. They met Thandaza High School in the semi-finals and brushed them aside 2-0 to book their place in the final against a gallant Skhethuxolo High School side that had beaten Phezulu High School 2-0 in their quarterfinal match. In the semifinal the runners up had beaten Ukusa High School 2-0.
The final was a closely contested affair with both Skhethuxolo and Gabi Gabi not wanting to give much away, but it was the latter’s discipline which shone and saw them win 1-0 through Siyanda Luthuli’s goal.
For Rainbow Chicken’s Corporate Communications Manager, Warren Farrer the gripping part of the 2 day tournament was more than the close contest of the matches.
“I thought it was very successful for us and as Rainbow it helps align the focus on education and the amazing sport that is soccer. The project actually teaches a lot,” said Farrer.
AmaZulu Community Trust Chairman, Lunga Sokhela extended his gratitude to the community for coming out in their numbers to support the local game.
The runners up received R2500 as compensation for their efforts. Although 15-year-old, Samkelo Mthethwa was with the losing team, his silky passing in the heart of the Skhethuxolo midfield caught the eye of the selectors and earned him the Player of the Tournament award and a R1000 cash cheque. He will be invited to one month’s training with AmaZulu sister club, Durban Warriors who play in the Safa Second Division.
Other players who impressed and were awarded were defender of the Tournament: Njabulo Mkhize (Skhethuxolo High School), midfielder of the Tournament: Siyanda Luthuli (Gabi Gabi High School), goalkeeper of the Tournament: Ayanda Zungu (Gabi Gabi High School) player of the Tournament: Samkelo Mthethwa (Skhethuxolo High School) and leading Goal Scorer: Veli Shabangu (Uxolophambili High School)
This is how the other teams finished:
- Gabi Gabi High School
- Skhethuxolo High School
- Thandaza High School
- Ukusa High School
- Phezulu High School
- Isibuko Sezwe High School
- Chief Luthayi High School
- Uxolophambili High School