Devland Impuphu kicks off stellar two-day soccer tourney

Players from Mi-Ka and Fairleigh battle it out for the ball.

Devland Impuphu held its fourth annual charity drive and soccer tournament on August 19, and 20 at the Paradise Grounds.

Over the two days, Newcastillians enjoyed a series of action packed soccer games and a fun walk/run.

Devland Impuphu extended a heartfelt “thank you” to the hundreds of community members and competitive participants, who helped ensure the event was such a thrilling success.

With 36 teams participating in the open division and a further 12 teams in the under-12 division, organisers had to facilitate 50 soccer matches on Saturday, together with the Fun Walk.

This daunting task was only achieved through the help of ground marshalls, volunteers, partners and teams who adhered to the rules correctly.

“This event was one of the biggest we have ever put together and we must remember all those who assisted in making it a reality.”

Immediately after player registrations were completed, the whistle signalled the first kick-off in the Open Division.

Nearly an hour later, the Fun Walk began and hundreds of participants strutted their stuff along the roadway.

The winners of the Fun Walk/Run were as follows:

In the under-12 division, Sinethemba Sibiya, Siyand Mazibuko and Bamile Mahlalela took home first, second and third place respectively. In the Open division, Basil Mazibuko, Musa Magubane and Sibusiso Muguni took first, second and third place respectively.

During the round robin matches, four teams stood out above their peers. These teams refused to drop any points to opposition and managed to be undefeated throughout the group stages.

“Teams Chik Chik, Lehlohonolong, Cash Crusaders and Thwala, dominated in the round robin, while others like FS7, Diplomat, All Stars and Michael Madadeni also made strong showings,” explained spokesperson for the tournament, Talha Randeree.

“From game one, we could tell there was immense talent and passion for the game at the grounds. With the teens from Al Mujaahideen and St Oswalds taking on Diplomat and Chik Chik respectively, and the foreign nationals in Bangali FC, who seemed to have never kicked a soccer ball before, playing against powerhouse teams Lehlohonolong and All-Stars. The matches truly provided some interesting sights,” he continued.

Ultimately, there had to be a winner and Chik Chik, Lehlohonolong, and Cash Crusaders all made it to the semi-final.

These teams were joined by Impuphu Plaza, a team many had counted out from early on.

Lehlohonolong had managed to knock out title contender Thwala FC in a penalty shoot-out during the quarter-final, but faced the daunting task of beating the dominant Cash Crusaders in the semi-finals.

Cash Crusaders managed a good victory over its opposition, while Chik Chik secured victory over Impuphu Plaza.

“The finals were extremely competitive with neither team giving an inch. It was a constant struggle for dominance, a tug of war with both teams securely dug in.”

However, in the dying moments of the game, with just over ten seconds to go, Cash Crusaders managed to slip a goal in past the Chik Chik goalkeeper Hanief who had had such a stellar performance throughout the tournament, that he was voted most entertaining player by the match and tournament officials.

Cash Crusaders walked away tournament champs with the grand prize of R3 000 cash, and Chik Chik took home the second place prize of R1 000.

Lehlohonolong managed to secure the third place position after a victory over Impuphu Plaza. Impuphu Plaza ended in fourth position.

Lehlohonlong’s Phumlani Shabalala took home the Player of The Tournament award.

In the under-12 division, Devland Impuphu donated R1 000 to Vulindlela Primary while Cassiem FC, Tash FC, Vulindlela and Mika were voted as teams of the tournament.

The women’s division witnessed some truly skilful playing from Maseru FC, when it took on Habibia Butchery in the finals.

Maseru managed to pull off a significant victory over its opposition, with Maseru’s Zikatelo Zulu voted player of the division and receiving a Fit-bit Smart Watch.

With the two day tournament enjoyed to fullest, Randeree said the the main aim of the event was fair play, and drug and substance abuse awareness.

“We think this was achieved, as throughout the two days we showed the spectators and players pleasure can be found without the need of these destructive substances.”


Quinton Boucher

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