Danone Nations Cup post

Gauteng school coach learns from the Danone Nations Cup national finals and vows to be back in 2019 to get another chance to compete in Spain




Sibonelo Mfeka, coach of Zamukhanya Primary School, who represented Gauteng at the Danone Nations Cup national finals in Dobsonville last week has started preparations for the 2019 tournament.  He is confident the team will do well based on his experience in Soweto, boosted by the fact that eight of his boys will still be eligible to play.


“My game plan this year was based on encouraging the boys to dribble the ball as far as possible before passing, but I learnt quickly that this is incorrect in the modern game of soccer,” said Mfeka, who saw the national final experience as a giant learning curve.  “Our toughest opponent was Benny’s from Limpopo.  They played as a team and passed the ball quickly.  My boys found it difficult to defend against the quick effective passes and we were left standing.”


Mfeka is a highly qualified teacher with a post graduate degree in Education from Unisa, but coaching soccer is a passion of his and he coaches according to his personal soccer experience.  “I never played the game at a high level and started coaching at school primarily as a means of educating my students on important live values such as trust, respect and discipline.”


Reaching the national finals was an incredible achievement said Mfeka.  “We never lost a single match during the qualification phase of the tournament, so when we lost our first game against Benny’s 3 – 1 it came as a shock to the boys. I explained to them that over 3 000 schools registered to participate in the tournament and the fact that we were one of only nine finalists remaining shows that they are exceptional players.  I also had to get them to understand that losing is part of the game and it is how you recover from a loss that determines a true champion.  Losing is not the end of the world.”


Captain and defender, Siyabonga Msimango was Zamukhanya’s star player said Mfeka.  “Siyabonga proved to be a well deserving captain.  He listened to instructions and was a great motivator.  He played with great determination.  There were times when I changed his position on the field and he rose to the challenge and played exceptionally well proving he is a great allrounder.”


Zamukhanya finished the tournament drawing two games (against Muzuvukile and Lutzburg) and lost against Benny’s and Charles Morgan to finished in 5th position on the log.


Nomlinganiselo from the Western Cape were the ultimate winners of the trophy, after beating Charles Morgan primary from the Eastern Cape on penalties and will be representing South Africa in the 2018 world finals against 20 other nations.

General View during the final between Western Province and Eastern province during the 2018 Danone Finals at Dobsonville Stadium, Orlando on 15 September 2018 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix


To celebrate Danone’s 100th birthday, and the 20th edition of the Danone Nations Cup, both the 2018 and 2019 soccer tournaments will be held in Barcelona, Spain in 2019, on a date to be announced.  Registrations for the 2019 South African edition will be open within a month.


“It is a privilege for Danone to be involved in this event,” said Chantel Ehlers, Internal Communications Manager, Danone Southern Africa.  “In 2018 approximately 50 000 young under-12 learners played in the tournament and as they progress through to the next age group in 2019 we trust that they have had fun and, as health and nutrition is at the heart of Danone, we trust that they have developed healthy eating habits that will last a life time.  Our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible and we look forward to 2019 and helping dreams come true for the next crop of young soccer players.”



POOL A                                                                                            POOL B

Benny’s Sports Academy and Development (LP)                        Shapeve Primary School (MP)

Zamukhanya Primary School (GP)                                                Nomlinganiselo Primary School (WC)

Charles Morgan Public Primary School (EC)                                Tshediso-Xolani Primary School (FSP)

Muzuvukile Primary School (KZN)                                                Laerskool Rustenburg Noord (NW)

Lutsburg Intermediate School (NC)


  1. Benny’s SDA 3   vs  1  Zamukhanya PS
  2. Shapeve PS  0  vs   1  Nomlinganiselo PS
  3. Charles Morgan  2 0 PS  vs  Muzuvukile PS
  4. Tshediso-Xolani PS  1 vs 0  Laerskool Rustenburg Noord
  5. Lutzburg IS 0  vs  2 Benny’s SDA
  6. Zamukhanya 1 PS  vs  1 Muzuvukile PS
  7. Nomlinganiselo PS 1 vs 0  Laerskool Rustenburg Noord
  8. Charles Morgan  PS  0 vs 0  Lutzburg IS
  9. Muzuvukile PS 2 vs  1 Benny’s Sports DA
  10. Laerskool Rustenburg Noord  0 vs 4 Shapeve PS
  11. Zamukhanya PS  1 vs 2 Charles Morgan PS
  12. Nomlinganiselo PS 1 vs 0  Tshediso-Xolani PS
  13. Muzuvukile PS 0 vs  0 Lutzburg IS
  14. Benny’s Sports DA 1 vs 2 Charles Morgan PS
  15. Shapeve PS  1 vs 0 Tshediso-Xolani PS
  16. Lutzburg IS  0 vs  0 Zamukhanya PS
  17. FINAL:  Charles Morgan PS 0 (3) vs 0 (4)  Nomlingaliselo PS



  1. Charles Morgan Public School (10 points)
  2. Benny’s Sports Academy (6 points)
  3. Muzuvukile PS  (5 points)
  4. Lutzburg IS (3 points)
  5. Zamukhanya PS (2 points)


  1. Nomlinganiselo (9 points)
  2. Shapeve PS (6 points)
  3. Tshediso-Xolani PS (4 points)
  4. Laerskool Rustenburg Noord (0 points)



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