Glendene beat strong competition from JL Zwane 1-0 in the final to win the 26th edition of the premier Under-19 tournament in the country.
This tournament launched the careers of Benni McCarthy, Thulani Serero, Ayanda Patosi and Rivaldo Coetzee.
Mihlali Mayambela – Mark Mayambela’s brother, who was playing in the tournament for a third time – could follow those names after stealing the show in the week-long tournament with his skill, free-kick taking ability, six goals and three assists. But he couldn’t help his team be crowned champions over a rugged and disciplined Glendene side that was too much for them to handle.
The final was a contest between Glendene’s physicality with solid organisation and Zwane’s skilful display with lots of individual brilliance.
The two outfits had managed to claim big scalps in their match to the final, with the Gugulethu-based Zwane beating Swansea City in the group stages while Glendene eliminated SuperSport United in the quarterfinals.
The match’s only goal came in the first half after a mistake from the JL Zwane goalkeeper Bhongolwethu Jikijela.
The keeper couldn’t hold a tame shot, fumbling the effort towards the path of winger, John-Nathan Oppelt who made no mistake and handed his team the lead.
Mayambela came with a moment of brilliance in the last minute of the match, slicing his way past three defenders but Aphiwe Maliwa couldn’t finish the move off.
Njabulo Ngidi is in Cape Town courtesy of Metropolitan.
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