University side wins, equals record

2018-07-25 06:01
The University Sport South Africa’s (USSA) team celebrates winning the 2018 national u.21 SAB League Safa Championship after beating Mpumalanga by 2 – 1. The final was played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Sunday (22/07). Photo: Supplied

The University Sport South Africa’s (USSA) team celebrates winning the 2018 national u.21 SAB League Safa Championship after beating Mpumalanga by 2 – 1. The final was played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Sunday (22/07). Photo: Supplied

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The University Sport South Africa (USSA) men’s football team has equalled the Free State’s record of winning the national SAB League Championship for a third time.

The university side attained this after beat Mpumalanga by 2 – 1 in an intriguing final at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban, on Sunday (22/07).

This annual contest is held jointly by the South African Football Association (Safa) and the SAB.

The university boys are also the winners of the 2011 and 2016 editions, while the Free State won in 2009, 2014 and 2015.

The Free State side remains the only one of the ten teams to have won the championship back-to-back in 2014 and 2015 – became the permanent holders.

In 2016, Free State came close to winning for a third time in a row, record of three times in a row but lost to USSA by 2 – 0 in the final.

The USSA team equalled the Free State’s record of three wins under the guidance of coach Godfrey Tenoff, head of football at the University of the Free State (UFS). He was named as this year’s coach of the tournament.

The USSA team also took two accolades. The top goal scorer of the tournament was awarded to Thabang Chuene, who scored five goals in the competition, and Tristan Hansloo was named as the player of the tournament for his consistency.

Fellow three-time winners FS achieved this under influential mentor Ishmael “Litre” Mokitlane, winner of the 1985 Mainstay Cup with Bloemfontein Celtic.

This year, the USSA side played in its fifth final, having won three and finishing as runner-up twice.winning three and finished as runner up twice. The team’s only loss in the tournament was against Limpopo (1 – 2) in the opening fixture of the tournament.

The university team received R20 000 for the win, while Mpumalanga was awarded with R10 000 for finishing second. Mpumalanga also finished in the same position in 2012 and 2014.

The side’s talented goalkeeper, Bonginkosi Nkosi, was named as the goalkeeper of the tournament for his impressive form that saw his team concede only three goals in a competition in which 82 goals were scored in 24 matches.

  • The 2017 winner, Gauteng, ended in third position after beating Limpopo by 7 – 1.

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