Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BEITBRIDGE district’s Tongwe High School will represent Matabeleland South province in the 31st edition of the COPA Coca-Cola boys’ national finals after beating Thekwane 1-0 in the final of the provincial championships held at Mzingwane High School yesterday.
Pint-sized midfielder Donald Shoko scored the priceless goal that secured the border town school’s ticket to their maiden national finals.
Emmanuel Ramakgapola, the Tongwe coach, heaped praises on his charges, saying they deserved the provincial title as they had had solid preparations.
“This is a sweet victory considering last time we reached the final, but lost to Mzingwane. We prepared well for the provincial finals, put in extra work and right now we are turning our focus on the national finals. I’m happy for the boys and I hope they will continue working hard,” said Ramakgapola.
Tongwe will be joined by Nkankezi, who won the girls’ final after beating Thekwane 2-0 on Thursday.
Sifiso Masuku, the Nash head-in-charge of football in Matabeleland South, was happy with the performance of the schools.
“Having both Tongwe and Nkankezi going through to the finals is testimony of the development of soccer at schools, as it spreads to other districts. Dominance has shifted to other districts and these first timers are going to represent us well at the games. We also want to applaud schools which brought right-aged participants, as this promotes and protects the image of the sponsor,” said Masuku.
In Bulawayo, Mpopoma High School won the boys’ and girls’ titles, while Chinyenyetu and Guinea Fowl won the Midlands girls’ and boys’ tickets.
Matabeleland South Under-15 COPA Coca-Cola boys’ results
A: Mvuthu 2-0 Colleen Bawn; Plumtree 2-1 Mvuthu; Colleen Bawn 0-0 Plumtree
B: Mzingwane 0-1 Tongwe; Manama 0-3 Tongwe; Mzingwane 0-1 Manama
C: Thekwane 1-0 Filabusi; Mqabuko 0-1 Thekwane; Filabusi 1-0 Mqabuko
Semifinals: Thekwane 1-0 Plumtree; Tongwe 1-0 Mvuthu
Final: Tongwe 1-0 Thekwane — @ZililoR