Team work, heeding advice, confidence and emotional intelligence is what helped the under-12 team from Nomlinganiselo Primary School win the Danone Nations Cup national finals.
The team took part in the contest in Gauteng, two weeks ago. They will now represent South Africa in Spain next year.
The New Crossroads team was drawn in Group 2 with Shapeve, from Mpumalanga, Tshediso-Xolani, from Free State and Laerskool Rustenburg Noord, from the Northern West.
They beat all three schools to finish on top of the group. In the final, they beat Charles Morgan Primary School from the Eastern Cape, 4-3 on penalties after the game ended in a dead-lock.
“The final match was tough,” said a tired, but excited Ntokozo Mazwi.
“The game was evenly matched and both of us had our chances, but we failed to convert. At the end of regulation time, the game was deadlocked leaving it to penalties to decide who would be going to Spain. I knew then that we had the game in the bag as I had a gut feeling that I needed to prepare my goalkeeper for this exact situation.”
“When one considers that our school has poor soccer facilities and we have limited equipment for training, yet we still managed to beat schools that have much more than us. It is testament to how determined and courageous the team was. Charles Morgan has competed in two other national finals and went into the game as the more experienced school.”
V To page 19.