Johannesburg, Saturday, 2nd April 2011 – Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro have been crowned winners of the 2011 Future Champions Gauteng on Saturday after they beat Russian club Rubin Kazan 3-0 in the tournament decider at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto.
It capped another fantastic final day of action that saw 22 goals scored in just six matches, providing the spectators with some scintillating football as some of the best Under-17 sides in the world put on a fabulous show.
Atletico Mineiro clinched the title in fine style with a sumptuous performance in the final, adding to the 2010 Future Champions Belo Horizonte tournament that they won on home soil in December.
The hero for the Brazilians was Lucas Kattah, who scored a hat-trick in the decider, the first goal a penalty, to take his tally for the competition to four. He was at the heart of everything that Atletico did and it was an outstanding individual performance from a player we are sure to hear much more from in the future.
Earlier in the day, third place went to Mexican side Pachuca, who beat K Stars of Zambia 5-2 in a thrilling match that produced the most goals in a game at this year’s tournament. Angel Bautista, Simon Almeida, Erick Carrillo (two) and Josue Marcado were on target for the Central Americans, while Musesha Phiri and Lubambo Musonda scored for K Stars.
South African side Orlando Pirates clinched fifth as they beat compatriots Bidvest Wits 2-1 and in doing so qualified for the 2011 Future Champions Belo Horizonte tournament to be played in Brazil in December. Siya Mzimela and Nanana Ntuli (penalty) scored for The Buccaneers, while Muhamed Patel got his third in three games for The Clever Boys.
Another South African side, Mamelodi Sundowns, took seventh as they beat Botswana outfit Gaborone Young Zebras 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Madumetsa Khwinana. It was a tight game that could have gone either way, but Sundowns kept their nerve to edge the honours.
Chile side Universidad Catolica took ninth position in the tournament as they beat Nigerians Apapa Golden Stars in another fantastic game that finished 3-2. Fernando Iturriaga (two) and Guillermo Maripan were on target for the victors, while Olawala Wahab and Ablodun Ibrahim netted for the African side. Ibrahim’s goal took his tally to five for the competition and he finished as top-scorer.
Dutch club PSV Eindhoven claimed eleventh as they beat locals Jomo Cosmos 3-0, with Mohamed Rayhi, Moussa Sanoh and Rai Vloet on target. It was a comprehensive win for the European side, who will be delighted to have ended off with a win.