By Mandla Ncube
Reigning COPA Coca Cola Girls champions Mpopoma High showed their mettle by winning the Pierre 10th Birthday celebration charity tournament held at Nguboyenja (Sotshangane Ground) last Friday.
The charity tournament is meant to celebrate Michellle and Vusa Tshuma son’s (Pierre) birthday. The couple is based in the United Kingdom. It is sponsored by Today’s Children Tomorrow’s Leaders, a charity organisation founded by Thandi Msimanga who is based in Cananda and is Pierre’s grand mother.
At the tournament six U13 boys teams and four U17 girls teams took part.
In the girls category Mpopoma bossed their way into the final with a statement of intent beating Townsend 4-0 in the semi-final to set up a thrilling final against Magwegwe who had edged Street Set by a solitary goal in the other semi- final.
Mpopoma were given a scare in the first half of the final going a goal down to Magwegwe. In the second half Mpopoma demonstrated why they are national champions scoring two goals to seal the victory and the tournament.
In the 3rd place play off Street Set beat Townsend 1-0 as the Lee Mangena coached outfit secured a third place finish.
Penalties were needed to settle the boy’s final between Highflyers and Mthwakazi. Highflyers eventually won the tie 4-3.
In spicing up the awards for the tournament, the sponsors extended their goodwill gesture giving away scholarship packages to each of the tournament team’s most outstanding players in the tournament in both the boys and girls category.
“The vision from the onset was to ensure that the children benefit and hopefully a movement is created to further encourage other kids to engage in sports and we will be having this tournament every year”, said Brenda Masauso who represented the tournament’s organizers.
Guest of honour at the tournament, Acting ZIFA Provincial Chairman, Allan Mpofu heaped praise on the participants.
“My boys I am impressed by all of you, you played football and you’re all winners, you saw the girls that played too, it was just brilliant for everybody”, said Allan Mpofu.
The boys section had Matshobana Academy, Real Squadron, Highflyers, Lobengula Primary, Sotshangane and Mthwakazi United while the girls competition saw Mpopoma High School, Magwegwe High School, Street Set and Townsend High School take part.