On Saturday, 22 April, the U/12 football team from Ndawonye competed in the Regional Finals of the Danone Nations Cup at Volksrust Stadium in Volksrust.
In the first match, the team faced off against Vukuzithathe Primary from Secunda. Thanks to Kwandile Nksoi the game ended with a 1-1 tie. After a penalty shootout, the points were 2-1. The opponents for the semifinals were Theu Theu Primary from Prixley Kasema.
Siyabonga Ndlandla scored the only goal during the match, ensuring a 1-0 win to move on to the finals. They played against Vusumuzi Primari from Balfour in the final. The game ended with no goals scored by either team, Ndawonye secured their victory by winning the penalty shootout with a score of 2-0.
Sbonelo Mthethwa and Siyabonga Ndlandla took the penalties that ensured the team winning the Regionals. Even though the team worked together to be victorious, two players have to be singled out. The substitute goalkeeper, Simphiwe Mkhonza, took the place of Thando Manana after he sustained an injury during the first match of the day, and could not continue play.
He is only 11 years old, but performed very well on the day, ensuring that no goals passed him. Siyabonga Ndlandla was chosen as the player of the day, as he helped to secure that the team won both the semifinals and final. From here the team will be competing in the Provincial finals at Middelburg on 27 May.
If they win the Provincial finals they will represent Mpumalanga at the National finals and will stand a chance to represent South Africa at the World finals at Wembley Stadium in London. Congratulations to these boys on the victories that they have already achieved. Good luck on the next round, and keep giving your best on and off the field.