DEBUTANTS, LA-MASIA FC, CROWNED THIS YEAR’S DISCOVERY WALTER SISULU SOCCER CHALLENGE CHAMPIONS.

Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge debutants, La-Masia FC, were crowned this year’s champions after beating Senaoane Gunners FC 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after fulltime.

The Westbury-based outfit came from a 1-0 lead to score a comeback in the second period of the match, which saw them eventually pushing for a win in a lottery of penalty shootouts against the Sowetans.

Bidvest Wits and Bafana Bafana captain Thulani ‘Tyson’ Hlatshwayo, who was gunning for his former amateur side, Gunners, to win this year’s edition, expressed that he was a bit disappointed that Gunners failed to clinch the title, also adding that the standard of football in this tournament is continuing to improve each year.

“There’s a whole lot of positivity going on around football development (in Gauteng),” Hlatshwayo said. “Just looking at this year, a team which is not from Soweto, actually went on to win it (as compared to last year). This should tell you that there’s a whole lot of work taking place on ground level in other parts of our country at large as well.

“I’ve seen a whole lot of good players here, and my only wish is to see some of them making that step into playing in the elite league like most of us have (really soon).

“However, having said that,” Hlatshwayo added. “I’m very proud of my former side of having gone all the way to reach this stage of the tournament. We all know what can happen in a lottery of penalty shootouts. Years ago, when I used to play here, I missed a penalty in the same situation as well, (and so Gunners shouldn’t beat themselves up about the defeat too much)”

La-Masia walked away with R100 000 winner’s first price, while under-17category champions Infinity Sports FC, and ladies category winners, Jabu All Stars FC, walked away with R20 000 price money each.

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