The 2011 Future Champions Gauteng international tournament kicks off in style

Johannesburg, Monday, 28th March 2011 – The prestigious 2011 Future Champions Gauteng kicked off at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto on Monday with a host of exciting matches between some of the best Under-17 sides in the world.

The Future Champions Gauteng tournament, organised by Global Sports International on behalf of the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, has grown into one of the top junior competitions on the global football calender and this year will crown its third winner after Boca Juniors from Argentina in 2009 and Chinese side Shandong Luneng in 2010

The 2011 event got off to a fine start as South African side BidVest Wits won the first game of the day when they edged Russian outfit Rubin Kazan 1-0, with Tumi Matlholwa getting the only goal of the game.

Mamelodi Sundowns then proved too strong for Chile’s Universidad Catolica, running out 4-1 victors. Sundowns netted through Thabo Zungu, Khayelihle Shozi, Percy Tau and an unfortunate own goal from Catolica’s Christopher Ross, while the Chilean side’s consolation came from Guillero Rodriguez.

Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven played to a 0-0 draw with Mexican outfit Pachuca, while South African side Orlando Pirates and K Stars from Zambia finished with the same scoreline.

Local club Jomo Cosmos were held 1-1 by Botswana side Gaborone Young Zebras, with Siseko Manona netting for the South Africans and Mathews Moruti on target for the Botswanans.

In the final game of the day, Nigeria’s Apapa Golden Stars took the lead against Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro through Ibrahim Ablodun, but the South Americans, who won the Future Champions Belo Horizonte in December, equalised via a header from Lucas Kattah, and it ended all square at 1-1. The Brazilians also missed a penalty as they spurned the chance of opening the competition with a win.

The action continues on Tuesday and Wednesday with six group matches each day at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, before the tournament moves to the Moruleng Stadium in the North West province on Thursday for the start of the play-offs and the semifinals.

The competition returns to the Nike Football Training Centre for the final play-offs and the championship decider on Friday.

10h00 K Stars vs CF Pachuca
11h15 Jomo Cosmos vs FC Rubin Kazan
12h30 Young Zebras FC vs Apapa Golden Stars
13h45 Bidvest Wits vs Clube Atletico Mineiro
15h00 Mamelodi Sundowns FC vs PSV Eindhoven
17h00 Orlando Pirates vs CD Universidad Catolica

Matches: Six
Goals: 10
Biggest victory: Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA) 4 Universidad Catolica (CHI) 1
1 – Ibrahim Ablodun (Apapa Golden Stars), Lucas Kattah (Atletico Mineiro), Siseko Manona (Jomo Cosmos), Mathews Moruti (Gaborone Young Zebras), Tumi Matlholwa (BidVest Wits), Guillero Rodriguez (Universidad Catolica), Khayelihle Shozi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns) Thabo Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), own goal
Photographs from Day 01 of the Future Champions Gauteng can be downloaded from

  • We had a wonderful football and cultural experience in Gauteng. The tournament and activities were very well organized and we found everyone involved extremely helpful and accommodating. We have all returned home with fantastic memories of our time in South Africa, both on and off the pitch, and have made many new friends as a result of the trip. I hope that we are invited to participate in future tournaments.

    Everton Academy Head Coach
  • The experience both on and off the field for our players during the Future Champions tournament in Gauteng was life-enriching for all those who participated. We were privileged enough to win this edition but what will be bringing us back in future is the cross-cultural education our players receive from spending time with athletes from all over the world. They are human beings before they are football players and enriching them with other cultures is as rewarding as the experience they receive on the field.

    Club Tijuana Director of Football
  • After twenty years of experiencing tournaments around the globe, Future Champions is hands down the best organized, well run International Tournament we have ever participated in. Bringing teams from dozens of different countries provided our boys exposure to cultural diversity they only read about in textbooks. It’s amazing how sport can be the cultural link that provides the opportunity to interact with each other and discover that our global community is a bit smaller than they realized. We had a football and cultural experience that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

    Director of USYSA Select
  • For us to compete in Future Champions is much more than playing a series of matches. It is an opportunity to compete and contrast our level against the best teams from around the world and the possibility of living in another culture and environment for an unforgettable week, learning about the history of the fight for human rights.

    Director of Aspire Academy
  • The addition of a girls’ competition this year is a natural expansion for what has become a hugely popular event. Over and above the football, the players are also exposed to life-skills courses and HIV/AIDS awareness that could end up saving their lives in the future. We have had an amazing partnership with the Gauteng Province over the last decade and we thank each and every stakeholder for making the Future Champions Gauteng campaign such a huge success

    Tournament director