Orlando Pirates FC will take on Russian side FC Spartak in the final of the 11th Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament

Soweto, Friday, 29th March 2019 – Home favourites Orlando Pirates FC will take on Russian side FC Spartak in the final of the 2019 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament on Saturday after another excellent day of football at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto on Friday.

Pirates ousted defending champions Club Brugge from Belgium 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in their semi-final and now have the chance to become the first Gauteng club to lift the prestigious Under-17 trophy.

Their Last 4 clash was a hard-fought affair in which both teams had chances, but the Young Buccaneers held their nerve in the shoot-out with goalkeeper Blake Franzen coming out on top.

FC Spartak were comfortable 3-1 winners over local side SAFA Gauteng in their semi-final, with Aslan Mutaliev, Stepan Melnikov and Sviatoslav Kozhedub on target, the latter netting fir a third time in the competition.

SAFA Gauteng netted their goal via a Ryan Manning penalty, but could not contain the rampant Russian side.

Pirates will now clash with FC Spartak in Saturday’s showpiece decider at 13h00, while Club Brugge and SAFA Gauteng play-off for the bronze-medal match at 10h00.

The final of the women’s competition will also be played on Saturday as a curtain-raiser to the final when SAFA Johannesburg take on Dr BW Vilakazi Secondary School after the pair won their places in the fixture at the recent Future Champions Gauteng Cup.

SAFA Johannesburg will feature Zara Williams, who was a winner of the Talent Search competition in 2018 which won her a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain.

Back to the action on Friday and Mthokozosi Balakasi shot to the top of the scorers chart this year when he netted the first hat-trick of the tournament in a 3-1 victory over Highlands Park, for who Lebo Matshaba was on target.

Balakasi now has five goals in the competition, and can still add to that tally with a final game to be played on Saturday.

Ayman Sanat scored a brace and Guiseppe Iaquinta got the other as Italian side Reggio Audace claimed a 3-0 victory over Chinese side Beijing Sinobo Guoan. The aim for the Asian side on Saturday will be to score their first goal after firing blanks in their opening four matches.

Bidvest Wits eased past the All India Football Federation with a 3-0 success as Uwals Carrim, Daanyaal Daya and Thando Jacobs found the back of the net for the local team. The Indian side are another seeking to find the back of the net for the first time in their final fixture.

Mexican side Club Tijuana claimed a deserved 2-0 victory over RCD Espanyol thanks to goals from Yael Baltazar and Christian Castillo.

The teams will play-off for the positions five to 12 in the final set of matches at the weekend.

Beijing Sinobo Guoan and All India FF kick-off the action at 08h15 with a battle for eleventh position, before Kaizer Chiefs and Club Tijuana play for fifth place at 08h30.

Reggio Audace and Bidvest Wits contest ninth position at 09h45, before Highlands Park and RCD Espanyol clash for seventh at 11h15.

The Future Champions Gauteng is organised by Global Sports International in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government.

This year’s tournament is also supported by LaLiga, Clinix Health, Rand Water, Lovelife, Sedgars Sport and Score Energy Drink.


Beijing Sinobo Guoan 0 Reggio Audace 3 (Ayman Sanat 2, Guiseppe Iaquinta)
Kaizer Chiefs 3 (Mthokozosi Balakasi 3) Highlands Park 1 (Lebo Matshaba)
Bidvest Wits 3 (Uwals Carrim, Daanyaal Daya, Thando Jacobs) All India FF 0
Club Tijuana 2 (Yael Baltazar, Christian Castillo) RCD Espanyol 0
FC Spartak 3 (Aslan Mutaliev, Stepan Melnikov, Sviatoslav Kozhedub) SAFA Gauteng 1 (Ryan Manning)
Club Brugge 0 Orlando Pirates 0 (Pirates win 4-2 on penalties)


08h15 – Beijing Sinobo Guoan vs All India FF
08h30 – Kaizer Chiefs vs Club Tijuana
09h45 – Reggio Audace vs Bidvest Wits
10h00 – SAFA Gauteng vs Club Brugge
11h15 – Highlands Park vs RCD Espanyol
11h30 – SAFA Johannesburg vs Dr BW Vilakazi (women’s final)
13h00 – FC Spartak vs Orlando Pirates


Games Played: 24

Goals scored: 70

Biggest win: SAFA Gauteng 5 All India Football Federation 0
Most goals in a game: 5 – SAFA Gauteng 5 All India Football Federation 0


5 goals – Mthokozisi Balakasi (Kaizer Chiefs)

3 – Sviatoslav Kozhedub (FC Spartak), Riandre Vries (SAFA Gauteng)
2 –
Daanyaal Daya (Bidvest Wits), Mario Lopez (Club Tijuana), Samuel Mangula (Club Brugge), Ryan Manning (SAFA Gauteng), Mateo (RCD Espanyol), Lebo Matshaba (Highlands Park), Magomedemin Rabadanov (FC Spartak), Albert Risen (Highlands Park), Ayman Sanat (Reggio Audace), Cisse Sandra (Club Brugge)

1 – Arnau (RCD Espanyol), Yael Baltazar (Club Tijuana), Reece Bartlett (Kaizer Chiefs), Uwals Carrim (Bidvest Wits), Christian Castillo (Club Tijuana), Erick (RCD Espanyol), Estanis (RCD Espanyol), Robbie Gheerardyns (Club Brugge), Grabu (RCD Espanyol), Lennert Hallaert (Club Brugge), Guiseppe Iaquinta (Reggio Audace), Thando Jacobs (Bidvest Wits), Jerome Karelse (SAFA Gauteng), Lorenzo Luchena (Reggio Audace), Siphesihle Maseko (BidVest Wits), Tebogo Masuku (SAFA Gauteng), Stepan Melnikov (FC Spartak), Ndumiso Mkansie (Bidvest Wits), Siphamandla Msezane (Orlando Pirates), Aslan Mutaliev (FC Spartak), Motihalosi Nare (Bidvest Wits), Marc Perez (RCD Espanyol), Yamkela Phalane (SAFA Gauteng), Ramses Serrano (Club Tijuana), Vlad Shitov (FC Spartak), Katleho Tsotetsi (Orlando Pirates), Yannis van Rumst (Club Brugge), Siyabonga Vilakazi (Highlands Park)

Own goal – Sajad Parray og (All India Football Federation)

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  • 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