The Western Cape local government gave the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup a massive stamp of approval with the announcement at the opening ceremony of the 26th edition of the tournament that they will be sponsoring an all-star team of locally based players to compete in an international tournament in China later this year.
Ivan Mayor, MEC for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, praised Metropolitan for their long-standing commitment to development of football at youth level and expressed his admiration for the fantastic vibe that surrounds this annual occasion.
“Nowhere is the passion for the beautiful more genuine than here in the Western Cape and the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup enables young footballers to realise their potential both as players and young adults,” he said. “The tremendous turnout of support is a shining example of the community spirit that gives us our unique identity and we have decided to reward this endeavour by sending the best local players from this tournament to represent our people in China.”
Spectacular fireworks lit up the skies over the Cape Flats as the ceremony to mark the official opening of the 26th Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup reached its climax at Erica Park in Belhar on Friday evening. The 31 competing squads did a march around the field, singing their team songs, to non-stop cheering from the 7000-plus spectators crammed into the venue. Then, a local dance troupe, soccer tricksters and fire-dancers warmed them up for the main attraction, SA’s Got Talent winner, Morgan the human beatbox, who did not disappoint as he rocked the crowd with his mesmerising ability to produce different sounds with nothing but his vocal chords.
“It is most inspiring to see how well-supported the tournament has been so far. The atmosphere at the opening ceremony was nothing short of electric and it bodes well for the remaining three days,” said Metropolitan brand executive, Belinda Faulkner.
The ceremony was followed by a local derby between Ajax Cape Town and ASD Academy, two of the sides fancied to go challenge for honours in this year’s event. The match produced end-to-end action but the well-drilled defences proved too organised to concede and the match finished goalless.
The match preceding the opening ceremony had already brought the atmosphere inside Erica Park close to fever pitch as scores of supporters crammed in to watch local heroes Milano United hold the mighty Kaizer Chiefs, whose large following certainly made their presence felt, to a 0-0 draw.
Play commenced at 14h00 as the teams completed their second round of matches in the group phase. Notable performances on Day 3 came from Harmony Academy, who beat Caledonians 4-1 in Group C, while Hellenic registered another impressive victory on their long-awaited return to the tournament, this time 3-0 over Morgenster United. Senoane Gunners and Bellstar United produced a goal-fest, sharing eight goals in a 4-4 draw.
The final set of group fixtures will be played between 09h00 and 12h45 on Saturday, with the round of 16 knockout phase to be decided later between 15h30 and 20h00.
The tournament now has 31 teams participating due to Gallant Academy, a team from Kenya who unfortunately were unable to attend because of logistical issue.
Beau West City 0-2 ASD Academy
School of Excellence 0-1 Ajax Cape Town
Beau West City 2-2 School of Excellence
Ajax Cape Town 0-0 ASD Academy
Bayhill Utd 0-1 Masidlale
Glendene Utd 2-0 Harmony Academy
Caledonians 1-1 Bayhill Utd
Harmony Academy 4-1 Caledonians
Bidvest Wits 4-1 Senoane Gunners
Bellstar Utd 1-2 Amazulu
Bidvest Wits 0-0 Amazulu
Senoane Gunners 4-4 Bellstar Utd
Blue Down Spurs 0-1 Berea Albion
Supersport Utd 1-0 Ethekwini Academy
Ethekwini Academy 1-0 Blue Down Spurs
Supersport Utd 0-0 Berea Albion
Old Mutual Academy 2-1 Robinvale Spurs
Robinvale Spurs 0-0 Vasco da Gama
Tuks 1-3 Old Mutual Academy
Vasco Da Gama 1-0 Tuks
Morgenster Utd 0-2 Santos Academy
Table View 0-4 Hellenic
Santos Academy 1-1 Table View
Hellenic 3-0 Morgenster Utd
Beacon Spurs 0-1 Masidlale
Masidlale 0-1 Milano Utd
Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 Beacon Spurs
Milano Utd 0-0 Kaizer Chiefs