By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
METROPOLITAN Under-16 Cup’s defending champions, Umqhele High School have one more hurdle to deal with before they could realise their dream to defent their title.
This after the Cleremont township, KwaZulu-Natal based side booked their position in the final match of the competition at the expense of Eastern Cape’s Malcomess High whom they beat Rietvale High School from Northern Cape 3-1 via penality shoot-outs after the score was 1-1 after the regulated time.
With R50 000, the floating trophy and an added trip incentive in a form of a trip to Brazil for the International School Federation Cup at stake for the winning school, Umqhele should be the most excited school ahead of the final match tomorrow (September 26) against Gauteng’s high-ridding Rosina Sedibane Academy at the Duncan Village’s Gompo Stadium in the Eastern Cape.
Sedibane earned their passage through to this final match after they walked all over the hosts, Malcomess High with a 5-0 drubbing.
Umqhele head coach, Sthembiso Ntini has since expressed his excitement about this final match, saying: “Having reach the final match of this tournament two times in a raw is an achiement on its own, and we can’t wait for tommorrow’s match against Rosina Sedibane.”
He addmitted that they have a lot of respect for Sedibane as they are a good side with very talented players.
“But that does not mean we are afraid of them. Yes we will give them their respect off the field, but take them head on in the field of play,” said Ntini who added that only one player from last year’s team was part of the team.
“We brought the new team all together in this year’s competition as opposed to the one which lifted the title last year,” said Ntini.
On the other hand Sedibane’s coach, Hendrick Kgosana did not mince his words when talking about tomorrow’s final match taking place at 12.45pm.
“Look, we have done well to be in this final match, and I don’t see us letting it go in this final match. We respect Umqhele for their effort to reach theis final because it is not always simple for a team to win a competition in the previous year and continue to do well in the following year. My players have promised to be at their best because they want to see themselves representing the country in Brazil,” said Kgosana.