By FOCUS REPORTERThe Under -18 Copa Coca-Cola school football teams that competed in theGauteng provincial finals in Kwa -Thema on Saturday, did sobefore football legends including Lucas Radebe, Isaac Shai, Seputla Nhlapho,Yster Ndlovu and Robinson Seakamelala as well as referee analyst, SylvesterNdaba.While all eight teams played their best, the School of Excellence(Elandsfontein Region) and Mohloli (Sharpville Region) each topped theirrespective Groups to compete in the final.Credit must go to Mohloli High, who went into the final as underdogs againstthe mighty School of Excellence, as they were crowned the Gauteng championswinning 5 - 4 on penalties after the full time score ended in a stale mate.Mohloli High win R40 000 as the Gauteng provincial winners with the NationalFinals being their next challenge happening at the Galeshewe Stadium inKimberley from 30th March to 2nd April. The national winner will take homeR150 000 worth of school or sport equipment for their school.Coca-Cola is well aware of the challenges facing the youth today and usesthis platform, Copa Coca-Cola, to encourage youth development as well as anactive and healthy."It was a fantastic day," said ex Leeds and Bafana Bafana captain LucasRadebe who is also the Copa Coca-Cola ambassador. "Copa Coca-Cola givesschool footballers the opportunity to play competitively and also encouragesthem to live an active and meaningful lifestyle. While only one team canwin, all players received the same opportunity to be seen by scouts who arelooking for players to boost their development teams. Copa Coca-Cola isfootball development at its best."The Mohloli coach, Tebello Kheswa, could not contain his excitement at beingcrowned the Copa Coca-Cola Gauteng champions. "This is the first time wehave played in Coca Coca-Cola and getting through to the finals was a hugeachievement, something we did not expect. Furthermore, facing one of thetop football youth academies in the country, the School of Excellence, inthe finals was a daunting task. But I just told my players to go out thereand focus on their own strengths and enjoy the game. Do not worry about theother team. This is exactly what they did and the rest is history. Now weare going to focus on the national finals."For the first time in the Copa Cola-Cola tournament we had a shared accoladewith two players from different teams taking the top goalscorer of thetournament award.Top goalscorers: Rethabile Soso (Mohloli) and Mohau Maine (School ofExcellence) 5 goals each
Meanwhile Kakamas High School from the Siyanda region was crowned the Northern Cape
Copa Coca-Cola Provincial champions also on saturday at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley after beating Rietvalle High School from Francis Baard Region by 1 – 0.
In spite of an outstanding performance by both teams, which resulted in a
goal less draw at half time, the defending champions proved once again this
weekend why they have been crowned Copa Coca-Cola champions of the
Northern Cape by scoring their most important goal just fifth minutes into
the second half. And have now secured themselves a place into the Copa
Coca-Cola National Finals.
Provincial Chairperson, Dickson Moleko said they had a very competitive
event with many of the matches being decided on more than one goal a game.
“The standard of play was high in the Copa Coca-Cola tournament this year
in our province with even the finals going down 1-0 which proves that
football in the Northern Cape is improving and our development coaching
structures are working well.”
He added: “Judging by their performance on the day, we feel confident that
Kakamas High School will do the Northern Cape proud in the National Finals.
Kakamas High School is the first school to represent the Northern Cape twice
in the National Finals and has been dominating this competition for the past
2 years since their inception in 2008.
Kakamas High School was unbeatable and also took home the top Goal Scorer
award as a result of striker, Vernon Saals’s five goals in total.
The next Copa Coca-Cola Provincial Finals will take place on Saturday, 12th
March, in Free State, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, with the winning
schools going on to compete in the National Finals happening at Galeshewe
Stadium in Kimberly on 30th March – 02nd April 2011. The ultimate 2011 Copa
Coca-Cola Champions will walk away with R150 000 worth of legacy project of
their choice, second place R100 000, third place receives R60 000 and any
school that makes it to the national final will win the value of R40 000 for