Mexico’s Club Tijuana win the 2013 Future Champions Gauteng title

Johannesburg, Saturday, 30th March 2013 – Mexican side Club Tijuana have been crowned 2013 Future Champions Gauteng winners after a dramatic 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over English club Everton in the final at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville on Saturday.

The teams had played to a 1-1 draw in the tournament decider, before Club Tijuana came out on top in the shoot-out.

Everton were the dominant side in the first half of the final, taking the lead through Callum Connolly. But the Mexican team came back strongly in the second period and deservedly found an equaliser through Rene Flores.

Both sides had chances to win it after that, but the match went to penalties and it was Tijuana who held their nerve to win their first Future Champions Gauteng title despite some fine saves from both goalkeepers in the shoot-out.

Atletico Mineiro had been champions in the last two installments of the competition but their exit in the semifinals to Everton on Friday left them playing for bronze this time round.

They eventually picked up third-place after a penalty shoot-out victory over Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon.

Otavio put the Brazilians ahead at halftime, but Matheus Pereira scored his third goal of the competition to level for the European team. The game went to spot-kicks and Atletico Mineiro won the shoot-out 4-2.

The disqualification of SuperSport United and Aspire Academy on Friday meant that University of Pretoria had already secured fifth and Zambia’s K-Stars sixth in the tournament.

But the pair played a final match in the competition on Saturday which was given exhibition status, with the Zambians triumphing 1-0 thanks to a goal from Samson Lungu.

Botswana side Young Zebras clinched seventh with a 1-0 success over Bridge FC from Nigeria. Kabelano Mooketsane ensured that the Zebras side secured their best-ever final position in the competition in their third showing after a pair of eighth-placed finishes in the last two years.

With SuperSport United and Aspire Academy out of the competition, Johannesburg Secondary School and SAFA Sedibeng played for ninth position.

Siyanda Ngubo netted the winner for Jo’burg Secondary, their first goal of the tournament as they overcome SAFA Sedibeng 1-0 to finish their campaign, which had started with the Gauteng Schools Cup, on a high.

Lisandro Semedo from Sporting Lisbon finished the competition as top-scorer with five goals, signaling his rich potential for the future.

The 2013 Future Players Talent Search was also run this year when thousands of learners from the Gauteng province aged 13-16 underwent trials to find the best stars of tomorrow.

The semi-finals and final of the competition were held on Saturday and the three winners for this year selected – Itumeleng Chane (LG Holele Secondary), Lesedi Monyolo (Zifuneleni Secondary) and Bhekani Nene (Ratanda Secondary).

The search was also on for the best young coach in the province and that honour went to Mandla Zwane, who leads the University of Johannesburg first team.

The Future Champions Gauteng tournament, organised by Global Sports International on behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Governement, has grown into one of the top Under-17 competitions on the global football calendar and is now in its fifth year.

Boca Juniors from Argentina were crowned champions in 2009, with Chinese side Shandong Luneng victors in 2010. Clube Atletico Mineiro were the first Brazilian winners when they triumphed in 2011 and then repeated that success last year.


Jo’burg Secondary 1 (Siyanda Ngubo) SAFA Sedibeng 0
Bridge FC 0 Zebras 1 (Kabelano Mooketsane)
K-Stars 1 (Samson Lungu) University of Pretoria 0
Exhibition match
Atletico Mineiro 1 (Otavio) Sporting Lisbon 1 (Matheus Pereira)
Atletico won 4-2 on penalties
Everton 1 (Callum Connolly) ÂClub Tijuana 1 (Rene Flores)
ÂÂTijuana won 4-3 on penalties


1st Club Tijuana
2nd Everton
3rd Atletico Mineiro
4th Sporting Lisbon
5th University of Pretoria
6th K-Stars
7th Young Zebras
8th Bridge FC
9th Jo’burg Secondary
10th SAFA Sedibeng
DSQ SuperSport United
DSQ Aspire Academy

Matches played: 29
Goals scored: 68
Biggest victory: Aspire Academy 6 Jo’burg Secondary 0
Most goals in a game: 6 – Aspire Academy 6 Jo’burg Secondary 0


5 – Lisandro Semedo (Sporting Lisbon)

4 – Muaz al Abdien (Aspire Academy)

3 – Callum Connolly (Everton), Calum Dyson (Everton), Matheus Pereira (Sporting Lisbon)

2 – Yousef Balan (Aspire Academy), Rene Flores (Club Tijuana), Guilherme (Atletico Mineiro), Lucas Jamanca (Sporting Lisbon), Dayne Jooste (SuperSport United), Udson (Atletico Mineiro), Jesus Valenzuela (Club Tijuana)

1 – Salem al Hajri (Aspire Academy), Ambar al Namani (Aspire Academy), Osama al Safdy (Aspire Academy), Jassim al Shameri (Aspire Academy), Waris Aroworowon (Bridge FC), Rafael Barbosa (Sporting Lisbon), Lacksom Bwalya (K-Stars), Gift Chikwangala (K-Stars), Kenny Chungu (K-Stars), Kieran Dowell (Everton), Michael Dowell (Everton), Tyrone Duffus (Everton), Charley Edge (Everton), Edgar Godinez (Club Tijuana), Daniel Gomez (Club Tijuana), Mandla Grantsana (SAFA Sedibeng), Goitseone Legopelo (Young Zebras), Keamogetswe Legwai (University of Pretoria), Marcel Luck (SuperSport United), Donald Makgetlwa (University of Pretoria), Andrew Makopo (Young Zebras), Oarabile Matlapeng (Young Zebras), Nkosinathi Mollo (SAFA Sedibeng), Kabelano Mooketsane (Young Zebras), Thabelo Mulaudzi (SuperSport United), Dikgang Ngcobo (University of Pretoria), Siyanda Ngubo (Jo’burg Secondary), Adebowale Ojo (Bridge FC), Olamilekan Olabinjo (Bridge FC), Otavio (Atletico Mineiro), John Phiri (K-Stars), Ricardo Santos (Sporting Lisbon), Njavwa Shula (K-Stars), Liam Walsh (Everton), Joseph Williams (Everton), Kwanele Zulu (SuperSport United)

  • 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