Gutsy Glendene United clinch inaugural Manenberg * -21 title

Mzoxolo Budaza

Chukker Road-based Glendene United were crowned champions of the inaugural Manenberg under-21 tournament after beating a stubborn Ikapa Sporting 4-2 on penalties, in a nail-biting final on Sunday.

The boys in blue may have walked away with the ultimate prize but soccer was the big winner on the day, with the Manenberg holding their own throughout the tournament.

Manenberg FC and hosts D&G Orient both qualified for the knockout stages with the former going all the way to the semi-final before losing 1-0 to an uncompromising Ikapa Sporting.

Ikapa proved to be the proverbial thorn in the side of the two Manenberg teams. A 10-man Ikapa beat the hosts 1-0 in the dying minutes of their quater-final clash before eliminating Manenberg FC 1-0 in their semi-final encounter. The Manenberg side looked solid in the early stages of the tournament as they quietly went about their business, eliminating one opponent at a time.

They kicked their campaign off with a 2-1 win against Atlantic Nacional in their opening group match, then beat Greenwood Athletic 1-0 in their second match before going down 1-0 to Ikapa.

The final between Glendene and Ikapa proved to be an exciting affair, as these two highly-talented sides battled out for the duration of the match. There was, in the end, very little which separated the two sides as the final score was 0-0, and the penalties had to decide the outcome.

Glendene’s road to the final was impressive as they looked consistent in their approach. They collected six points in the group stages after winning two and drawing one of their three matches, scoring three goals, without conceding, in the process.

Their draw came in their opening match against the Rygate LFA team.

They went on to beat JL Zwane 3-1 in the quarters before dumping Rygate on penalties after another goalless draw. Ikapa provided the fiercest resistance to Glendene’s onslaught, as they matched their opponents in all departments.

The two sides, in the end, had to be separated by penalties.

Glendene assistant coach Mangaliso “Shakes” Ntombana praised the Ikapa players for pushing his team all the way to the penalties. He admitted Ikapa was one of the most exciting and effective sides in the competition.

“The tournament was a good test for our players who, once again, showed character and delivered when the need arose.

“We came up against strong teams like Ikapa, JL Zwane and Rygate LFA and, despite the odds, emerged victorious,” he said. Ntombana now has his sights set on the upcoming Kenpark under-23 tournament

The launch of this tournament was due to take place in May, but was postponed due to the killing of one of its main sponsors, Calvin Goliath.

It will now take place tonight,Thursay June 2, at Vegas Club, in Westridge, Mitchell’s Plain.

Call 078 700 4831 for details.