Five local sides have booked their place in the 2017 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament after another successful hosting of the Gauteng Cup on Saturday in which it rained goals with some thrilling football.
The action at the WJ Clements Stadium in Reiger Park was enthralling as Orlando Pirates FC, BidVest Wits, University of Pretoria, Mamelodi Sundowns and SAFA Tshwane all qualified for the 12-team International Tournament that will be played from 20-25 March.
Defending Gauteng Cup champions Sundowns defeated SAFA Tshwane 3-0 in their semi-final thanks to a brace from Sphamandla Ntuli and another from the prolific Tlotlego Pitso.
They will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Pirates and Wits, which could not be completed due to a power failure at the stadium.
That game will be replayed on Saturday, 18 March at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto at 09h00, with the final against Sundowns to take place at the same venue later in the day at 13h00.
The five sides for the International Tournament will join the likes of last year’s winners Atletico Madrid, Italian team Torino and Mexican outfit Club Tijuana at the Nike Football Training Centre later this month to test their skills against top teams from around the world.
Pirates edged SuperSport United to top Group A at the Gauteng Cup on goal-difference after both sides managed seven points from their three matches.
The key game was always likely to be between the pair and when that finished 1-1, goal-difference would be needed to separate the sides.
Pirates won the day courtesy of an 8-1 win over Kingsway High School as Lyle Foster scored an incredible six goals to take his tally to an impressive 10 in the pool stages alone.
Group B was also a tight affair though in the end both pool winners Wits and second-placed University of Pretoria qualified for the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament, the latter given the fifth place available for local sides as the best runner-up among the pools.
Once again the key match between the two academies of professional clubs finished 2-2, which left both Wits and AmaTuks on seven points, but The Clever Boys ahead on goal-difference having conceded one goal fewer than their rivals.
Group C was a more routine affair as defending champions Sundowns claimed three wins to top the pool, defeating Bophelo Impilo School and Highlands Park both 4-1, before a 1-0 success over SAFA Ekurhuleni.
The only other side to go through the pool stages with a 100 percent record was SAFA Tshwane, who started with a 5-0 win over SAFA Sedibeng, before gaining a vital 1-0 success over Kaizer Chiefs.
Their 7-1 win over Esokwazi High School in their final match was notable for the fact that all seven of their goals were scored by Nelson Mosupoe, the best individual display of the day.
In all there were eight hat-tricks scored in the pool stages and 111 goals scored in the 24 matches at a remarkable average of 4.63 per game.
The Future Champions Gauteng tournament is organised by Global Sports International in conjunction with the Gauteng Provincial Government.
SAFA Johannesburg 0 Orlando Pirates 8 (Bophela, Foster 4, Monyane, Mbangwa, Madisha)
Kingsway High School 0 SuperSport United 8 (Le Roux, Motsepe, Bennett 3, Manning, Ngonyama, Singh)
Orlando Pirates 1 (Monyane) SuperSport United 1 (Le Roux)
Kingsway High School 4 (Ntshanse, Dlamini 2, Mavuso) SAFA Johannesburg 3 (Sithuli, Hlatshwayo, Ntombela)
SAFA Johannesburg 0 SuperSport United 2 (Kurata, Manning)
Orlando Pirates 8 (Foster 6, Sibanda 2) Kingsway High School 1 (Sibulele)
|Orlando Pirates FC||3||2||0||1||17||2||15||7||1|
|Kingsway High School||3||1||2||0||4||11||-7||3||3|
BidVest Wits 4 (Magavu, Brummer, Mathebula, Mashinini) Kwadukathole 0
SAFA West Rand 0 University of Pretoria 4 (Arendse, Patel, Mnqwazana, Okolo)
BidVest Wits 2 (Mathebula, Mert) University of Pretoria 2 (Selotola, Baloyi)
SAFA West Rand 0 Kwadukathole 2 (Unathi, Tshepo)
SAFA West Rand 0 BidVest Wits 8 (Khunyedi 3, Mofokeng 2, Magavu, Mert, Andrews)
University of Pretoria 8 (Selotola 3, Okolo 2, Marshall, Matupa, Witbooi) Kwadukathole 1 (Gotso)
|SAFA West Rand||3||0||3||0||0||8||-8||0||4|
SAFA Ekurhuleni 1 (Zulu) Highlands Park 1 (Tivane)
Bophelo Impilo School 1 (Rooibaadjie) Mamelodi Sundowns 4 (Pitso 3, Ndlendle)
Highlands Park 1 (Radebe) Mamelodi Sundowns 4 (Frans og, Mailula, Ntuli, Pitso)
Bophelo Impilo School 1 (Njani) SAFA Ekurhuleni 3 (Maseko, Maringe, Zulu)
SAFA Ekurhuleni 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 1 (Ntuli)
Bophelo Impilo School 1 (L Mlongeni) Highlands Park 0
|Highlands Park FC||3||0||2||1||2||6||-4||1||4|
SAFA Sedibeng 0 SAFA Tshwane 5 (Matsie 2, Mncube, Pikwe, Mohale)
Esokwazi High School 0 Kaizer Chiefs 8 (Xaba 2, Milazi 4, Mohlala, Radebe)
Kaizer Chiefs 0 SAFA Tshwane 1 (Pikwe)
SAFA Sedibeng 1 (Sebotsa) Esokwazi High School 2 (Sibeko, Mofokeng)
SAFA Sedibeng 0 Kaizer Chiefs 1 (Dlamini)
Esokwazi High School 1 (Khupa) SAFA Tshwane 7 (Mosupoe 7)
|Kaizer Chiefs FC||3||2||1||0||9||1||7||6||2|
|Esokwazi High School||3||1||2||0||3||15||-12||0||4|
Mamelodi Sundowns 3 (Ntuli, Pitso) SAFA Tshwane 0
Orlando Pirates vs BidVest Wits – postponed to March 18