Nale academy wins Youth Elite games Tournament
Nale Academy from The Vaal won this year’s Youth Elite Games title after beating Bophelong Development 5-4 in a penalty shootout at Cosmo City’s Multipurpose Centre on 16 June.
The tournament saw eight teams participating to mark the youth day commemorations.
Bophelong, who were participating for the second time in the tournament, tried their best to hold Nale academy 2-2 in the regulation time.
Nale Academy, who reached the finals of last year’s tournament, came into the tournament as favourites to lift this year’s title.
An elated Nale Academy coach, Ghia Mokheti, was full of praise for his boys and boldly declared that the tournament will produce great players in the country.
“I am just speechless and you saw how wildly the boys celebrated after beating Bophelong because we never got the chance to win in the final,” he said. “Last year we bowed out at the final stage and I think hard work has finally paid off for us. In future we will see great national players produced by this tournament. In our team we currently have Mthokozisi, who is in the under17 national team.”
The losing Bophelong coach, Thabo Wesi said he was happy for the tournament proceedings.
“I am happy we made it to the final and the boys did their best,”he said. “It was not easy to play against Nale Academy. All I can say is that this has been a great tournament because it prevents the young boys from the streets. On top of that we have celebrated the youth day in style.”
On their way to the final Nale Academy won all their group stage matches. In the semi-finals they met the best runners up of group B Royal Gunners and won 1-0 to set up the final against Bophelong
Bophelong’ route to the final saw them emerging from group A as runners up to Nale Academy after winning two games in group stages and losing one match. They dismissed Prestige Academy 2-1 in the Semis.
Youth Elite Games awarded the winning team a trophy, soccer balls, and a new football kit. They also awarded the best defender, the best midfielder, the best striker and the player best player of the tournament with a pair of soccer boots each.