Perfect playing conditions at Erica Park in Belhar on Thursday allowed for some exciting and entertaining football on the second day of the 26th edition of the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup.
The bright sunshine and windless skies were perfect for the best U-19 players from around the country to display the full range of their skills in front of an appreciative local crowd that swelled significantly as the day progressed.
ASD Cape Town Academy and Ajax Cape Town both laid down a marker in their opening Group A matches, ASD beating Beau West City and Ajax outgunning the School of Excellence, both by a 2-0 scoreline.
Host club, Bayhill United played to a second successive draw after ending a goal apiece against Caledonians, while Glendene United scored a 2-0 win over Harmony Academy to take top spot in Group B.
In Group C, Bidvest Wits captured attention with an impressive 4-1 victory over Senoane Gunners, and were joined at the top on three points by Amazulu after Usuthu beat local favourites, Bellstar United, 2-1.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund made a turn past Erica Park to run the rule over some of the emerging talent and found much of it to his liking. “This is a fantastic tournament because it brings the cream of the talent from around the country to Cape Town where they compete against each other under the watchful gaze of representatives from all the major clubs as well as national teams. Metropolitan deserves a lot of credit for facilitating this tournament which is a very important part of the development process,” he said.
Group D action saw last year’s finalists, Berea Albion edged Blue Down Spurs 1-0, before Supersport United matched the feat by beating Ethekwini Academy by the same margin.
In Group E, Vasco Da Gama and Robinvale Spurs trail Old Mutual Academy after playing to a goalless draw. Old Mutual recorded a 3-1 win over the University of Pretoria to make the set the early pace.
Kaizer Chiefs produced the performance of the day when they proved too classy for Beacon Spurs, running out 4-0 winners in their opening match in Group G. Milano United beat Masidlale 1-0 to make a three-way tie at the top of the group at this early stage of the tournament.
Finally, Mamelodi Sundowns also showed their pedigree by beating Bishop Lavis 2-0 to get their campaign off to a great start.
Friday’s action gets under way at 14h00. The official opening ceremony is scheduled to commence at 19h00 – and will involve a march past by all the teams, music and dance by local entertainers and a spectacular fireworks display to illuminate the night sky – and will be followed by the keenly awaited Group A clash between ASD Academy and Ajax Cape Town.