Ajax Cape Town overcame the best under-17 football teams in South Africa to clinch the 2015 Engen Champ of Champs title at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday, 11 October 2015.
Ajax beat defending champions Supersport United 3 – 0 in a tense final. Played in front of an enthusiastic crowd, which included soccer dignitaries and talent scouts from all over the country, the two teams did not disappoint, dishing up football of the highest calibre.
Goals from the tournament’s co-leading scorer, Leo Lethani, Ajax captain Luthando Mateza, and a superb effort from Mogamat May-Samodien ensured that the young Urban Warriors were worthy winners of the coveted title.
Earlier, six of the best under-17 teams in the country contested the 2015 Engen Champ of Champs at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. Doing battle from 9 – 11 October 2015 were the five winners of the regional Engen Knockout Challenge tournaments: – Amazulu (Durban winners), Harmony Academy (Bloemfontein), Ajax Cape Town (Cape Town), Chippa United (Port Elizabeth) and Mamelodi Sundowns (Johannesburg). Joining these five teams was host club and defending Engen Champ of Champs champions Supersport United.
The semi-finals lined-up as follows; Ajax Cape Town v Harmony Academy, followed by a Tshwane derby, Mamelodi Sundown v Supersport United.
Ajax overcame a gallant Harmony Academy 6-0 to book their spot in the championship match, while Supersport edged Sundowns 1- 0 to maintain their chances of defending the title.
Afterwards, convenor of selectors, Cape Town Santos legend and former Bafana Bafana player Duncan Crowie, said while he spotted several star performers over the three days of the tournament, one player stood head and shoulders above the rest.
That player was Luthando Mateza of Ajax, who was duly awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament’ prize for the consistently high level of football he produced. “Luthando really exceled over the three days. He was pivotal in all aspects of Ajax Cape Town’s game plan,” said Crowie.
As part of his prize, Luthando will undergo a personalized training program at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria. The other individual award winners were:
· Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Yuri Mortimer of Supersport United
· Top Goalscorer – Leo Lethani of Ajax Cape Town.
Engen’s Group Sponsorship Manager, Brad Bergh was delighted with the high calibre of football produced at this year’s event. “We can safely say that the regional rounds of the 2015 Engen Knockout Challenge provided the best under-17 football talent for this year’s Engen Champ of Champs,” commented Bergh.
“History has shown that a number of players who grace the Engen Champ of Champs and Engen Knockout Challenge have lived their football dream of going onto playing at the highest level of the South African game.
“Engen is both humbled and proud to be a part of the development of these young future football stars, further contributing to the realisation of their dream of being signed professionally,” added Bergh.