The 11th Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament kicked off in Soweto today

Johannesburg, Monday, 25th March 2019 – Title holders Club Brugge from Belgium got the defence of their Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament off to the best possible start with a 2-0 victory over local favourites Kaizer Chiefs at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto on Monday.

Brugge served notice that they will be among the teams to beat again this year after early goals from Cisse Sandra and Yannis van Rumst set them up for an impressive victory in the prestigious Under-17 competition that runs until Saturday, 30th March.

A healthy crowd took in the opening day’s action, during which there were some impressive performances from players from all around the world.

The third team in Group A, Chinese side Beijing Sinobo Guoan, had a tough opening encounter as they lost 2-0 to Mexican outfit Club Tijuana, who have been regular visitors to the tournament through the years and were champions in 2013.

Mario Lopez and Ramses Serrano found the back of the net for Tijuana, who were full value for their win.

Local side Bidvest Wits got their Group B campaign off to the perfect start as they defeated Russian side FC Spartak 3-1 thanks to goals from Daanyaal Daya, Ndumiso Mkansie and Motihalosi Nare.

Magomedemin Rabadanov grabbed a consolation for the Moscow side, who are appearing in the Future Champions Gauteng for the second year running.

Highlands Park, who were a late replacement for Nigerian side NPFL All Stars in the field, defeated the All India Football Federation 4-0 with Albert Risen grabbing a brace to go with goals for Lebo Matshaba, Siyabonga Vilakazi.

The NPFL All Stars had to withdraw due to visa challenges, but have been replaced by a strong Highlands side who finished fourth at the recent Future Champions Gauteng Cup and have got their competition off to an excellent start.

Highlands head Group C on goal-difference from Orlando Pirates FC, who were 1-0 winners over Italian visitors Reggio Audace, with Siphamandla Msezane getting the only goal of that game.

Finally, Spanish side RCD Espanyol de Barcelona and the SAFA Gauteng invitational side played to a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Erick netted for the Barcelona-based club but Riandre Vries was on target for the SAFA side.

There will be a full round of six more matches on Tuesday with more intriguing fixtures to be played.

Club Tijuana take on FC Spartak (kick-off 11h30) in the opening game of the day, followed closely by All India FF versus RCD Espanyol (11h45).

Local favourites Kaizer Chiefs will seek to bounce back against Beijing Sinobo Guoan (13h00), before the SAFA Gauteng are up against Reggio Audace (13h15).

Potentially the biggest clash of the day comes as Bidvest Wits take on Club Brugge (14h30), before a provincial derby when Orlando Pirates battle with Highlands Park (16h00).

Entrance to all the matches this week are free!

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.

Highlands Park 4 (Albert Risen 2, Lebo Matshaba, Siyabonga Vilakazi) All India FF 0
Reggio Audace 0 Orlando Pirates 1 (Siphamandla Msezane)
Beijing Sinobo Guoan 0 Club Tijuana 2 (Mario Lopez, Ramses Serrano)
RCD Espanyol 1 (Erick) SAFA Gauteng 1 (Riandre Vries)
FC Spartak 1 (Magomedemin Rabadanov) Bidvest Wits 3 (Daanyaal Daya, Ndumiso Mkansie, Motihalosi Nare)
Club Brugge 2 (Cisse Sandra, Yannis van Rumst) Kaizer Chiefs 0

11h30 – Club Tijuana vs FC Spartak
11h45 – All India FF vs RCD Espanyol
13h00 – Kaizer Chiefs vs Beijing Sinobo Guoan
13h15 – SAFA Gauteng vs Reggio Audace FC
14h30 – Bidvest Wits vs Club Brugge
16h00 – Orlando Pirates vs Highlands Park


Games Played: 6
Goals scored: 11
Biggest win: Highlands Park 4 All India Football Federation 0
Most goals in a game: 4 – Highlands Park 4 All India Football Federation 0; FC Spartak 1 Bidvest Wits 3

2 goals – Albert Risen (Highlands Park)

1 – Daanyaal Daya (Bidvest Wits), Erick (RCD Espanyol), Mario Lopez (Club Tijuana), Lebo Matshaba (Highlands Park), Yannis van Rumst (Club Brugge), Ndumiso Mkansie (Bidvest Wits), Riandre Vries (SAFA Gauteng), Siphamandla Msezane (Orlando Pirates), Motihalosi Nare (Bidvest Wits), Magomedemin Rabadanov (FC Spartak), Cisse Sandra (Club Brugge), Ramses Serrano (Club Tijuana), Siyabonga Vilakazi (Highlands Park)

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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