By FOCUS REPORTER
The 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup has reached its conclusion after another thrilling day of action at Marks Park in Emmarentia yesterday.
The four Under-17 sides who will represent the province at the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions tournament from March 28 to April 2 this year have been determined, with that honour going to Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.
The 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup saw the 10 competing clubs split into two groups of five, with matches of 70 minutes being played on a round-robin basis. The winning sides received three points, with one for a draw, and the top two teams in each pool qualified for the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions.
Pirates won both their Group A matches on Sunday to top the pool and seal their berth. They beat SuperSport United 2-1 thanks to goals from Tshepo Liphoko and Sakhile Ngobo, while Thabo Moloi netted for Matsatsantsa. Pirates were then awarded a 2-0 walkover victory after their next opponents, FC AK, failed to appear for their fixture.
FC AK had been thumped 10-0 by Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, and their failure to show up at all on Day Two meant Cosmos were awarded a walkover 2-0 victory as well. Ezenkosi also beat Chiefs 1-0 thanks to a Simphiwe Mthembu strike to take them into second in the pool.
They still faced an anxious wait to see if they would end there as Chiefs could have overtaken them if they beat SuperSport in their final fixture, but in the end the game finished 1-1 and Amakhosi had to be content with third-place.
Tshepo Tolo, who finished top-scorer in the tournament with an impressive seven goals, netted for Chiefs, while SuperSport’s goal came from Thabo Moloi.
Group B was just as tight, but was topped by Wits, who won both of their games on Sunday. They first beat Moroka Swallows 3-0 thanks to goals from Sibusiso Magwaza, Tumisang Matlholwa and Thuthuka Khumalo, before dispatching Tuks 3-1. Thuthuka Khumalo, Samkelo Qwabe and Zachary Cohen scored for The Students, Anees Allies provided a consolation for Tuks.
Sundowns took second in the pool and along with Wits were the only unbeaten side in the competition. After two draws on Saturday, they beat Tuks 3-0 thanks to goals from Khayelihle Shozi (two) and Refilwe Mokeretla, and followed that up with a tight 1-0 success over School of Excellence, who had gone into that final game needing just a draw to pip Sundowns to second. Thomas Nyathi scored the goal for The Brazilians.
Earlier, School of Excellence had thumped Swallows 4-1 as Avela Cezu, Siseko Manona (two) and Mongale Lebone scored, while Swallows’ solitary goal came from Siyabonga Qekele.
The Under-17 Gauteng Cup is sponsored by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and MEC, Mr Lebogang Maile, was full of praise for this year’s competition.
“The standard of play that was on display was excellent and a credit to the Province. I would like to congratulate all the sides who took part, but more especially Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, who will represent the province at the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions event later this year,” Mr Maile said.
The Under-17 Gauteng Cup is in its third year, with Moroka Swallows having won the inaugural event, and SuperSport United claiming the title last year.
Saturday, January 29
SuperSport United 2 FC AK 0 (walkover)
Jomo Cosmos 0 Orlando Pirates 1 (Thulasizwe Khubeka)
FC AK 0 Kaizer Chiefs 10 (Tshepo Tolo 5, Lingile Mncube 2, Anthony Gordinho, Itumeleng Moshobane, Thapelo Sibisi)
SuperSport United 0 Jomo Cosmos 1 (Jayson Jacob)
Kaizer Chiefs 2 (Tshepo Tolo, Itumeleng Moshobane (pen)) Orlando Pirates 1 (Tshepo Liphoko)
Mamelodi Sundowns 0 Bidvest Wits 0
Moroka Swallows 1 (Matome Rammutla) Tuks 0
Bidvest Wits 2 School of Excellence 0 (walkover)
Mamelodi Sundowns 0 Moroka Swallows 0
School of Excellence 2 (Mongale Lebone 2) Tuks 0
Sunday, January 30
Jomo Cosmos 2 FC AK 0 (walkover)
Orlando Pirates 2 (Tshepo Liphoko, Sakhile Ngobo) SuperSport United 1 (Thabo Moloi)
Jomo Cosmos 1 (Simphiwe Mthembu) Kaizer Chiefs 0
Orlando Pirates 2 FC AK 0 (walkover)
Kaizer Chiefs 1 (Tshepo Tolo) SuperSport United 1 (Thabo Moloi)
Bidvest Wits 3 (Sibusiso Magwaza, Tumisang Matlholwa, Thuthuka Khumalo) Moroka Swallows 0
Tuks 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 3 (Khayelihle Shozi 2, Refilwe Mokeretla)
Moroka Swallows 1 (Siyabonga Qekele) School of Excellence 4 (Avela Cezu, Siseko Manona 2, Mongale Lebone)
Tuks 1 (Anees Allies) Bidvest Wits 3 (Thuthuka Khumalo, Samkelo Qwabe, Zachary Cohen)
School of Excellence 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 1 (Thomas Nyathi)