Sinenzuzo can hold heads high

2010-10-05 00:00

HAMMARSDALE’s Sinenzuzo Primary School pupils, South Africa’s representatives in the 2010 Danone Nations Cup in Johannesburg on the weekend, may have finished 22nd in the finals of the globally staged tournament cup, but they returned home to KwaZulu-Natal with their heads held high.

The finals of the 2009 tournament were initially scheduled to take place last year in Brazil, but following the swine flu outbreak, had to run concurrently with the 2010 competition here in South Africa.

In this competition the South African representatives, Bree Primary School from Johannesburg, were crowned the 2009 champions, beating the representatives of Switzerland 2-0 in the final at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Mexico were crowned 2010 champs following their 2-0 win in the final over Uruguay on Sunday.

Sinenzuzo drew 0-0 with the representatives from Ukraine in Orlando on Sunday to lose the 21st/22nd-place play-off and finish 22nd in the 2010 competition.

While KZN’s Sinenzuzo did not fare well, two of their players impressed development officials of Premier Soccer League team Orlando Pirates to such an extent that one remained behind in Gauteng for assessment.

According to Sinenzuzo team manager Sikhotha Majozi, Pirates spotted striker Nkosingiphile Mkhize and midfield skipper Sanele Mkhize but could only allow the former to stay behind.

“The problem with Sanele is that we could not get hold of his mother on the phone and we felt it would be unwise to leave a kid without their parent’s consent,” Majozi said.

“Pirates’ approach to our players is an indication that despite the poor background that our kids are from, they have got talent that is appreciated by established development institutions like Pirates. We believe the boys will do well in their trials and and this could open doors for their peers as well.”

Commenting on the tournament, which pitted 20 schools representing their respective countries against each other, Majozi said: “The standard was high and being the first time our kids were competing against foreign opposition, they found the going tough.

“We drew all our games, against Germany (1-1), New Zealand (0-0), Morocco (1-1) and Uruguay (1-1), meaning we could not progress to next stage. But the experience gained at the tournament is invaluable and will go a long way in spurring on the following generation to raise the school’s flag higher.”

The Danone Nations Cup is an international football tournament that has been organised every year since 2000.

It gathers 10 to 12-year-old children from 40 different countries and all continents.

France legend Zinedine “Zizou” Zidane graced the finals and offered inspiration to star-struck kids.

The sponsors announced that next year’s finals will be held in Spain.

 

South African teams’ results

2009 championship (South Africa represented by Bree Primary) Friday

South Africa 1 Portugal 0

South Africa 2 Senegal 0

South Africa 1 Netherlands 0

South Africa 1 Saudi Arabia 1 (South Africa won 3-2 on penalties)

Saturday

South Africa 1 Mexico 1 (South Africa won 3-2 on penalties)

Indonesia 0 South Africa 2

Brazil 0 South Africa 1

Sunday

Final: Switzerland 0 South Africa 2

2010 championship (South Africa represented by Sinenzuzo Primary) Friday

South Africa 1 Germany 1 (Germany won 3-2 on penalties)

South Africa 0 New Zealand 0 (South Africa won 3-2 on penalties)

South Africa 0 Morocco 0 (Morocco won 3-2 on penalties)

South Africa 1 Uruguay 1 (Uruguay won 7-6 on penalties)

Saturday

South Korea 2 South Africa 2 (South Africa won 2-1 on penalties)

Egypt 2 South Africa 0

South Africa 0 Austria 0 (South Africa won 5-4 on penalties)

Sunday

21st and 22nd place play-off: South Africa 0 Ukraine 0 (Ukraine won 3-1 on penalties)

Winners: Mexico

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