Cape Town City lost 1-0 to Ubuntu in the final. Coach and player bag individual awards.
Cape Town City duo, coach Byron Cottle and under-18 midfielder, Luphumlo Sifumba grabbed top honours at the Engen Knockout Challenge’s closing ceremony, at Langa Stadium, this past weekend.
Coach Cottle was named the coach of the tournament after leading Cape Town City’s under-18 side into the finals, despite going down 1-0 to Ubuntu Football Academy.
Luphumlo “Kaka” Sifumba, was instrumental in City’s engine throughout the tournament. He scored against Hellenic in the quarter-finals and scored a spectacular goal from the centre of the field during their 2-0 win over Cape Town Spurs in the semifinals.
Coach Cottle said they started the tournament slow, scored a header that accelerated their pace and played well throughout the group and knock-out stages. It was unfortunate they lost concentration in the finals, which cost them the game.
“The boys showed heart, character, unity and team spirit. We showed a lot of team spirit. Going forward we can achieve much more,” he said.
“It is my first big tournament. I have coached a number of tournaments at LFA level, but this is my first big tournament. I was surprised when they called me up for the award. For me it is all for the boys,” he said.
Coach Cottle said Kaka deserved the award for the way he helped the team throughout the competition.
“You should see him at training. The moment he steps on the field he switches on to professional mode. With his mindset we hope he can achieve the best,” said Cottle.
Sifumba, a Cape Town High pupil who grew up in Philippi and Samora Machel, said this is the first time he was awarded the midfielder of the tournament award.
“Ndijabulile (I am very happy). I am proud of myself for working hard throughout training and on the field,” he said.
Sifumba, who has played for City Lovers FC, Flamingo, Hellenic and Valencia (Delft) juniors, joined Cape Town City last year.
“I am very proud of the team because we played well. We are united. We are brothers. We stand together. We laugh together and have each other’s backs. It was the first time seeing us build character as a team like this. No matter the result, it is all God’s work,” he said.
Sifumba said he is grateful for the guidance shown by his management on and off the field.
“I am very happy for coach (Cottle), he encourages us. I think for him it is a big award,” said Sifumba.