New Year’s Cup final in Grahamstown a resounding success

2018-01-10 06:00
; The MARU FC team receives the winning trophy from Safa’s Danny Jordaan, Laliga’s Antonio Barradas and Safa’s Vusumzi Vusani.Photo:SUPPLIED

; The MARU FC team receives the winning trophy from Safa’s Danny Jordaan, Laliga’s Antonio Barradas and Safa’s Vusumzi Vusani.Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE New Year’s Cup tournament turned to be a resounding success with Makana Rhini United (MARU) defending their title during the finals, which were played at JD Dlepu Stadium in Grahamstown on December 31.

Some of the games, including the last 16 matches, were played in Motherwell and Walmer Township during the festive season.

Dignitaries attending the tournament included Laliga Africa head Antonio Barradas, Safa president Dr Danny Jordaan, Safa NEC member Mzimkhulu Fina, Safa EC secretary Isaac Klaas, Mercedes Benz SA (product and marketing) Vusumzi Vusani, Safa NMB president Simphiwe MK Mkangelwa, Chippa United head coach Tebogo Moloi, Kaizer Chiefs ex- player Patrick Mayo, Golden Arrows ex-player Mzuvukile Tom, and Orlando Pirates players Justice Tshabalala and Luvuyo Memela.

The 32-team tournament started in a round-robin format and ended up in a knockout stage.

In the semi-finals, hundreds of fans and high-profile figures saw MARU, the 2016 champions, eliminate Amavarara FC from Queenstown 1-0, while Sophia Young Stars from Grahamstown went down 5-3 on penalties to Young Chiefs from Alice after the 1-1 full-time score.

In the third-place play-off, Amavarara defeated Sophia Young Stars, while in the finals, MARU successfully defended their title with their thrilling 3-2 victory over Young Chiefs.

MARU walked away with the first prize of R100 000, kit, a floating trophy and gold medals and Chiefs settled for R50 000, silver medals and soccer kit.

Amavarara and Sophia Young Stars received prizes of R25 000 and R20 000 respectively. All the teams that participated in the tournament received 10 balls each.

The tournament chairman, Luyanda Papu, thanked all the dignitaries, fans, teams, local organising committees and the match officials for making the tournament a resounding success. Papu also thanked the sponsors for the major role that they had played towards the development of the grassroots football.

Papu said that the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), Laliga and Mercedes Benz SA had changed the lives of the less fortunate people in the form of sport.

Individual awards were awarded as follows:

Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament: Anele Thwani (Amavarara FC)

Young Player of the Tournament: Ayavuya Gocina (Amavarara FC)

Best Coach of the Tournament: Bongani Lombo (MARU FC)

Player of the Tournament: Mzoxolo Rafani (MARU FC)
Siyanda Dyana from MARU FC also received a special award.

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