ORLANDO PIRATES FC became the first ever South African winners of the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament when they edged Russian visitors FC Spartak 8-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto on Saturday.
It brought to an end a magnificent six days of action, where some of the top young players in the world competed for the prestigious Under-17 prize.
The final of the girl’s competition was also played on Saturday, with SAFA Johannesburg running out 2-1 victors over Dr BW Vilakazi Secondary School in a battle between two sides who had won their place in the show piece fixture at the Future Champions Gauteng Cup.
Aliyaah Allie and Glovanna Barbosa netted for SAFA Johannesburg, while Akhona Hadebe got the lone goal for Dr BW Vilakazi.
The winners of the Future Champions Gauteng Talent Search were also announced, with Ayeesha Moosa from Nirvana Secondary School in Lenasia taking the girls’ spot, and Bulelani Mkhwanazi from Emshugantambo High School in Pimville and Mpho Maikhoso from Reashoma Secondary School in Protea North, the boys’ winners, while the Future Coaches winner was Setshedi More from Pimville.
The trio will have a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain, courtesy of LaLiga, where they will learn what it takes to play at the highest level.
The Future Champions Gauteng was organised by Global Sports International in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government.
Image (Pirates players with their coach Augusto Palacious celebrate after winning the tourney in Soweto.) By Jacob MAWELA