A packed stadium of over 15 000 soccer fans cheered on as the final two teams took to the field on Sunday 4th of June, but it was local team Kamhlushwa Real Madrid that ultimately took home the coveted Selati Cup title and prize money of R100 000 with a convincing 2-0 defeat. Central to their victory was ‘Man of the Match’, Innocent Zulu of Kamhlushwa Real Madrid, who scored the winning goals. Both final teams showed renewed skill and dedication following a coaching session with the legendary Lucas Radebe the day before the final. Radebe himself was there on the sidelines enjoying the excitement of the final as well as a number of local dignitaries including, Nkomazi Executive Mayor – Cllr. TS Khoza, MEC for Culture Sport & Recreation – Honourable MEC Norah Mahlangu, Brainz Zulu from SAFA Nelspruit, John Du Plessis and Derek van Niekerk from RCL Foods – Sugar & Milling.
But the final wasn’t the only exciting game to take place on the day. The Men’s 3rd and 4th place final between Schulzendal Eleven Experience and Kamhlushwa City Stars ended in a killer 4-0 defeat by the former, with talented Sanele Khanyile of Schulzendal Eleven Experience scoring himself the ‘Man of the Match’.
The ladies final was just as riveting as Mzinti Ladies took on Schoemansdal Super Strikers on Sunday the 4th of June, and won 3-1 in an action packed final.
It was a fitting end to the popular 3-month-long tournament with a total of 128 teams participating, including 8 female teams. Local soccer fields were brought to life with the sounds of eager and passionate fans as they came from far and wide to support their favourite teams and witness over 630 goals being scored by talented soccer players in total.
The Selati Cup is known as a breeding ground for soccer talent where grassroots players go on to play in the premier league. Stars like Velile Zitha from Block C now with Golden Arrows, Mpho Mbebe with Super sport, Innocent Mkhabela with Platinum star and Jabulane Dladla with Mbombela United.
This year the scouts will have several exciting players locked in their sights including Sanele Khanyile of Schulz Eleven Experience who scored a record 6 goals in a single match and Ncedile Siwela of the female team Super Strikers scoring a record 10 goals in a single match. Machala Matlalepula of Kamhlushwa Real Madrid was the tournaments lead male goal scorer with 14 goals in total throughout the tournament; followed closely by Sanele Khanyile of Schulz Eleven Experience scoring an impressive 11 goals. But most impressive was Nothando Nkosi, star of Mzinti Ladies scoring 16 goals across the tournament period.
After a successful 2017 Tournament, RCL Foods is once again proud of its achievements to be positively and sustainably involved in the local communities through a number of avenues. The Tournament brings about job-creation and an increase in trade to contribute to the local economy; upliftment of the community through sport and healthy camaraderie; and the creation of new opportunities for talented players.
“Through the sponsorship of The Selati Cup, RCL Foods has been able to give back to the local communities of Mpumalanga; something that we feel very passionate about,” says John Du Plessis, Sugar & Milling Managing Director. “Not only do we bring joy to the people through their love for soccer, but we uplift players, small businesses and communities too. We have grown this tournament from a simple 32 team contest back in 2005, to one of the biggest municipal soccer tournament in South Africa today. To say we are proud, is an understatement. In addition, we are grateful to our partners; Trans African Concessions (TRAC), the Nkomazi Municipality and The South African Football Association (SAFA), for helping us to bring more excitement and more possibilities to Mpumalanga; the Selati heartland.”
The Selati Cup Awards ceremony will be held on Friday the 23rd of June where players, coaches, referees and teams will be acknowledged for exceptional performance in the various categories: Top Goal Scorers, Best Goal Keeper of the Tournament, Referee of the Tournament, Most Improved Lineman of the Tournament, Coach of the Tournament, Best Player of the Tournament and Best Young Player of the Tournament.
This year, the winning team was awarded The Selati Cup title and trophy, as well as R100 000 cash, gold medals, and branded soccer kit. Runners up, Buffelspruit Home Defenders received R60 000 cash, 2nd runners up Schulzendal Eleven Experience received R35 000 and 3rd runners up Kamhlushwa City Stars received R25 000 cash.
The winning ladies teams received the following prize purses for their impressive performances: Champions, Mzinti Ladies received R15 000, runners-up Schoemansdal Super Strikers received R10 000 and third and fourth runners up Steenbok Young Cosmos and Dludluma Chippa FC took h
ome R5 000 each.