Belgian side Club Brugge have been crowned champions of the 2018 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament following a comprehensive 4-0 victory over ADO Den Haag from the Netherlands.
The final took place on Saturday, 24 March 2018 at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto.
Brugge are worthy champions of the 10th instalment of the prestigious Under-17 tournament and grabbed their goals in the final through Milan Vanacker (penalty), Benjamin Brants, Gabriel Lemoine and Mathias DeWolf.
It is the third year in a row that the Belgian side is competing in Gauteng. This is also a great improvement for the European side as they have achieved their best ever result in the tournament – they finished seventh in 2017 and 11th in 2016.
Despite their loss in the final, it is also the best result in the competition for ADO Den Haag, who take home the silver medal.
South African side BidVest Wits claimed third place when they edged Russian outfit FC Spartak 5-3 on penalties after the teams had played to a 2-2 draw.
Siya Sibayoni bagged a brace for Wits, while Ilya Predeys and Ruslan Litvinov (penalty) were on target for FC Spartak.
It is not Wits’ best finish in the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament though, they were runners-up two years ago when they lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the decider.
Wits are coached by former Bafana Bafana international Dillon Sheppard and their senior team is the current South African league champions.
Earlier, AC Reggiana avoided the wooden spoon when they won 2-0 against Namibian club Black Africa Hopsol.
Stefano Piccinini and Federico Mori were on target for the Italians as they claimed a deserved victory.
Mamelodi Sundowns finished in 9th place after they pipped Jomo Cosmos in the local Gauteng derby, as Thato Matli grabbed his second goal of the competition.
Local side Highlands Park took seventh position with a 3-1 victory over Spanish outfit RCD Espanyol, with the two goals scored by Eric Tivane, taking his tally for the tournament to four and joint top of the leading scorers chart with Lorenzo van Kleef from ADO Den Haag.
Santino Smith was also on target for the Gauteng team, while RCD Espanyol were on the score-sheet via an own goal from Kevin Etafia, the son of former Nigeria international goalkeeper Greg.
Nkana FC completed an excellent tournament as the Zambian side took fifth place with a 3-0 victory over local favourites Orlando Pirates FC.
Nkana were 3-0 winners as Lewis Musaka, Charles Banda and Mashawila Kaliminwa found the back of the net.
The winners of the Future Players Talent Search were also announced as the young stars won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain in September as guests of LaLiga.
Nkanyiso Maphosa from Nirvana Secondary School in Lenasia, Zara Wilkinson from Victory House Private School in Discovery and Moosa Sahail from Al-Aq SA School in Lenasia all claimed their dream ticket after impressing the coaches with their skill.
They will be joined in Spain by Andile Zulu, who is coach of White City Spurs and selected as the most promising tactician among this year’s entrants.
The Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament was organised by Global Sports International in conjunction with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, the Gauteng Department of Education and SAFA.
This year’s competition was also supported by Sedgars Sport, Clinix, LaLiga, Gauteng Coaches and the City of Joburg.
Black Africa Hopsol 0 2 AC Reggiana (Stefano Piccinini, Federico Mori)
RCD Espanyol 1 (Kevin Etafia og) 3 Highlands Park (Eric Tivane 2, Santino Smith)
Jomo Cosmos 0 1 Mamelodi Sundowns (Thato Matli)
Orlando Pirates 0 3 Nkana FC (Lewis Musaka, Charles Banda, Mashawila Kaliminwa)
BidVest Wits 2 (Siya Sibayoni 2) 2 FC Spartak (Ilya Predeys, Ruslan Litvinov pen)
(Wits won 5-3 on penalties)
ADO Den Haag 0 4 Club Brugge 4 (Milan Vanacker penalty, Benjamin Brants, Gabriel Lemoine, Mathias DeWolf)
1st – Club Brugge (Belgium)
2nd – ADO Den Haag (Netherlands)
3rd – BidVest Wits (SA)
4th – FC Spartak (Russia)
5th – Nkana FC (Zambia)
6th – Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
7th – Highlands Park (SA)
8th – RCD Espanyol (Spain)
9th – Mamelodi Sundowns (SA)
10th – Jomo Cosmos (SA)
11th – AC Reggiana (Italy)
12th – Black Africa Hopsol (Namibia)
Matches played: 30
Goals scored: 71
Biggest victory: Black Africa Hopsol 0 FC Spartak 5
Most goals in a game: Black Africa Hopsol 0 FC Spartak 5; Mamelodi Sundowns 2 Nkana FC 3
4 goals – Eric Tivane (Highlands Park), Lorenzo van Kleef (ADO Den Haag)
2 goals – Thando Buthelezi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mathias De Wolf (Club Brugge), Mashawila Kaliminwa (Nkana FC), Pavel Kosongov (FC Spartak), Gabriel Lemoine (Club Brugge), Simphiwe Mabena (BidVest Wits), Cassius Mailula (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thato Matli (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ilya Predeys (FC Spartak), Siya Sibayoni (BidVest Wits), Milan Vanacker (Club Brugge)
1 goal – Adria (RCD Espanyol), Oliver Baas (Black Africa Hopsol), Nikita Bakaluk (FC Spartak), Charles Banda (Nkana FC), Ilya Bykovskij (FC Spartak), Siyabonga Buda (Orlando Pirates), Benjamin Brants (Club Brugge), Jente Ceurvelts (Club Brugge), Yoram Chanda (Nkana FC), Brad Cross (BidVest Wits), Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge), Timo de Vreede (ADO Den Haag), Marx Hakeem (Orlando Pirates), Nikita Iosifov (FC Spartak), Nelson Kaula (Nkana FC), Ruslan Litvinov (FC Spartak), Christiano Lorenzani (AC Reggiana), Augustine Mahlonoka (Orlando Pirates), Leighton McGalty (Black Africa Hopsol), Ben Melamdowitz (BidVest Wits), Gontse Molefe (Jomo Cosmos), Nikita Morgynov (FC Spartak), Federico Mori (AC Reggiana), Siphamandla Msezana (Orlando Pirates), Mubanga Mulenga (Nkana FC), Lewis Musaka (Nkana FC), Salomon Negumbo (Black Africa Hopsol), Siyamamkela Ntame (Highlands Park), Oriol (RCD Espanyol), Oscar (RCD Espanyol), Stefano Piccinini (AC Reggiana), Sem Reijn (ADO Den Haag), Kagiso Setlhodi (Orlando Pirates), Santino Smith (Highlands Park), Azola Tshobeni (Orlando Pirates), Thomas van den Keybus (Club Brugge), Rini van der Walt (ADO Den Haag), Riandre Vries (Mamelodi Sundowns), Federico Ziveri (AC Reggiana), Isaac Zulu (Nkana FC)
Own goal – Kevin Etafia
–SOURCED FROM THE SAFA WEBSITE.