Moroka eyes national goal

2015-08-26 06:00
CHAMPIONS: The team of the Moroka High School and coaching staff celebrate after winning the 2015 Copa Coca-Cola Free State championship. 
Tladi Moloi

CHAMPIONS: The team of the Moroka High School and coaching staff celebrate after winning the 2015 Copa Coca-Cola Free State championship. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – The soccer team of the Moroka High School in Thaba Nchu near Bloemfontein has secured a licence to contest this year’s Copa Coca-Cola national title.

The finals will be held from 23 to 26 September in KwaZulu-Natal. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

Moroka qualified for the national finals after the team had clinched the Free State championship, beating the Luckhoff Combined School from the Xhariep District by 2-0 in the final at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus on Saturday (15/08).

Olebogeng Sephiphi and Molemo Moleko scored the two goals to earn their school’s first-ever football trophy.

Luckhoff and Moroka advanced to the final of the tournament after they had finished top in their respective streams.

The two streams had three teams apiece, with the teams playing according to a round-robin format.

Moroka finished the stream with four points. They narrowly beat the Dr Cingo High School by 2-1 and played 2-2 against the Bethlehem-based LK Nhlabathi Intermediate School.

Luckhoff also won points. The team beat the Welkom High School by 2-1 before playing to a goalless draw against the Lindley High School.

Relebohile Rantsoabe, the Moroka mentor, said he was happy that they had managed to win silverware for the school for the first time.

“The boys played very well. I want to thank them for what they have achieved. I also want to thank the management of the school for the support that they have shown throughout the tournament,” Rantsoabe said.

He said they would have to go back and prepare the team for the bigger contest.

“We need to be more aggressive and clinical in front of the goalposts, because we can’t win games if we don’t score. We will make sure that we play more friendly games to prepare the boys for that stage.”

Even though it would be the first time that his boys play in this stage, he is adamant that they will do well. “The provincial contest was very tough and we are hoping to build on the performance. We will go there to fight for our lives, not to add numbers.”

Israel Boom, the head coach of the losing team, said his boys were exhausted in the final, that was why they had lost.

However, he admitted that the Moroka team had been stronger than them and that they deserved the victory.

“It was a long day for us. We played well in the first two games, but the final was not as good as we had hoped,” Boom said.

He said last year they had not done well in the provincial contest.

He added that he was happy they had improved from last year’s performance, finishing as runners-up.

“We still have a young team. They have played in the finals and hopefully next year they will win it. We would go back to the drawing board and prepare for next year,” he said

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