Defending champions Supersport United have been crowned 2014 Gauteng Cup champions after they defeated Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the final at the Eldorado Park Ex 6 Soccer Fields on Saturday (1st March 2014).
It means back-to-back victories for young Matsatsantsa in the tournament, with their winning goal in the title decider coming from Nelson Maluleke.
The four semi-finalists, which also included Jomo Cosmos and Sunward High School, all booked their place in the prestigious Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament that will be played in Soweto from 24th to 29th March 2014.
There they will rub shoulders with some of the best Under-17 sides from around the world in a competition that has become one of the highlights of the world junior football calendar.
The 16 teams that competed at the Future Champions Gauteng Cup on Saturday were made up of eight from the academies of professional clubs in the Province, four sides who had qualified via the Gauteng Schools Cup and a further four sides made up of SAFA regions in the province.
Supersport United topped a tight Group A with two wins from their three games, beating SAFA Johannesburg 1-0 and Johannesburg Secondary by the same score line.
Mpumalanga Black Aces were runners up in the pool by virtue of their victory over Supersport in the final group game which meant they were the only side not to lose. Sunward Park High were among the most impressive of the semi-final qualifiers as they breezed through Group B after winning all three of their matches.
Keanu Cupido scored twice as they saw off SAFA Sedibeng 4-0, before defeating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 thanks to a goal from Tlou Masegela. They rounded out their pool play with a 4-0 victory over Moroka Swallows. Jomo Cosmos edged Group C ahead of Bidvest Wits after they picked up two wins and a draw. The decisive game in the pool proved to be their 1-0 win over The Clever Boys, with Prim Gouindsamy getting the goal.
Mamelodi Sundowns were the dominant force in Group D as they claimed three wins, finishing top ahead of the Sports School of Excellence.
Supersport United booked their place in the final with an emphatic 4-0 win over Jomo Cosmos thanks to goals from Nelson Maluleke, Athenkosi Dladla and Zama Rambuwane (two). It was a much tighter affair in the other semi-final, where Mamelodi Sundowns edged Sunward Park High 1 – 0 with Ofentse Mohomotji on the score-sheet.
That set up a final between the two Tshwane sides, with Supersport coming out on top once again thanks to Maluleke’s strike.