Exciting football tournament sees Young Pirates beat Tokyo City

The recent Xman Tshisa Nyama football tournament at Mgogogweni Stadium in Ndlovini was an eventful day for local soccer lovers, and saw Young Pirates triumphing over Tokyo City 3-1 in the final.

DECORATED CHAMPIONS: Young Pirates won the recent Xman Tshisa Nyama football tournament by defeating Tokyo City 3-1 at Mgogogweni Stadium in Ndlovini. On the far right is Xman Tshisa Nyama owner, Xolani Gumenge, who sponsored the tournament Picture: TK MTIKI

In an attempt to draw public interest, players and supporters were led by a group of drum majorettes as they paraded from Xman Tshisa Nyama to the stadium. The strategy seems to have worked as supporters came out in numbers to witness entertaining football.

Both teams’ talents were on full display in the nail biting match. More than 35 minutes went by with no goal. However towards the end of the first half, Melikhaya Ngesi managed to upset Tokyo City’s fans as he found the back of the net.

Young Pirates’ lead did not last long as Thandolwethu Ntontela scored the equalising goal. However during the second half Young Pirates came back hungrier with a commanding performance, creating a lot of scoring opportunities. Phathuxolo Matinyane took advantage of those opportunities registering his name on the score sheet to make it 2-1 to Young Pirates.

Ngesi continued to torment Tokyo City’s defenders, finding the second goal under his name for Young Pirates. The third goal for Young Pirates consolidated their 3-1 win.

Young Pirates’ win guaranteed them the R3,000 prize money, 20 gold medals and a floating trophy. Runners-up Tokyo City received R1,500 prize money and 20 silver medals. Third and fourth placed teams received R500 respectively.

The main sponsor,  Xman Tshisa Nyama owner Xolani Gumenge said the tournament gave youngsters a platform to showcase their talent while also aiming at taking kids off from the streets.

“This is a continuation of last year’s tournament. Because of Covid-19 we were unable to play all the games. The final had to be on January 29,” Gumenge said.

“Port Alfred is a home of soccer but people are not passionate about it. With that parade we were trying to revive that passion and people came out in numbers.

“Our kids are doing drugs and we want to fight that through sport. With tournament of this nature we also want to invite professional players to come and identify the talent. I hope that other businesses will come on board to make it even bigger,” he said.

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