We have so much to celebrate this week! This past week two of our teams won tournament championships.
Sim likes the Trophy
The U16s won the Inaugural Rygersdal Club Championship. It was a smaller tournament, but with some quality teams. The boys played 5 round-robin group games. They won all 5 of those. They then played a final against the 2nd place team in the round-robin, Idas Valley. This was actually a bit of a rematch because most of those boys played for a school that defeated them in the U15 Coke Cup with their schools. Over the course of the games the boys scored 19 goals and only conceded once. Carl Van Rensburg was highest scorer of the tournament with 6 goals and Chadley Philander was named Player of the Tournament.
The Parents are Proud
Player of the Tournament, Captain, and High Scorer
While that was nice, our U13s won the Strandfontein Tournament-by-the-Sea. This is, without a doubt, the best U13 tournament in our region. With 32 clubs participating, all of the “big boys” play in this tournament. This victory is our most significant to date. This year’s tournament was even more difficult than in the year’s past. Because the Friday was a public holiday they added a whole extra day. The team played 7 matches over 3 days. Thankfully, Coach Sean has developed a lot of depth in the squad and he was able to rotate players regularly throughout the group games and the early knockout rounds.
Having Fun Between Games
Good Crowd Support
The team eliminated Morgenster 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Sunday. At the same time Milano was beating Ajax CT on penalties to set up our opponent for the semi-final. We eliminated Milano in the semis. We were already winning 1-0, and had just been awarded a penalty kick, when one of their supporters attacked the referee. The match was called off and we advanced, though we were all over them anyways.
Sean Looks Excited
Looking Focused before Final
In the Final the boys were matched up against Maties. This is a newer club on the scene, and they eliminated Old Mutual and Fire Fighters in the quarters and semis. Maties opened the scoring in the 1st half on a free kick that they shot in from just inside midfield. That ended up being one of only two shots on goal that they would have (the other also being a free kick that they tried to shoot from around midfield). Our boys were playing some really nice soccer and continued to create chances. They were frustrated at halftime to be trailing.
Motivational Halftime Talk
However, after a positive pep talk from Sean at halftime the boys came out determined in the 2nd half. They continued creating chances in front of goal and even hit the crossbar once. Finally, Ashley Wyngaard found the equaliser after some nice combination play with Josh Fisher and Ridhaa Essack. The winner came shortly after when Vusumzi Plamana played a beautiful through ball to Tevin Potts who rolled the ball home.
Chasing Ashley to Celebrate Equalizer
It was such an exciting match. I was so proud of the character that all the boys showed. They pushed themselves through fatigue to play that many games. They never let themselves get dragged into conflict as teams continued to foul them. And they supported each other well. What a massive weekend for us!
Not to be lost in all of this was that Ubuntu put together its first girls team ever to play in a tournament in Mitchells Plain. We’ll get Coach Melissa to write a separate review about that.