The Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation has congratulated winners of the Diski Five-a-Side tournament and the legends games held here in Sandton Mandela square over the weekend as part of the Football Festival Soccerex Convention. This is as the curtain goes down on the ultimate sporting exhibition Soccerex, which Gauteng and South Africa have hosted for the past three years.
The ladies team Colchester from Johannesburg and the boys team Mighty Stars from Sedibeng are the 2009 Champions of the tournament following their hard fought victories in the finals. Colchester beat Superstars from Ekurhuleni by 3-1 in a tense but entertaining final match in which Superstars finished the game with four players following the sending off of their player.
The hard running and high scoring champions broke the stubborn defence of their opposition which had stood their ground in the first few minutes of game. To reach the final Colchester had beaten Blyvoor ladies 10-1 in the semi-final however couldn't repeat the same fate in the final partly because of being unable to penetrate the defence but mainly because of the Superstars' goalkeeper who was on top form.
It was tough in the boys' game which had to be decided through penalties. The champions, Mighty Stars won 2-0 in the shootout after a four all draw in open play. They had won 5-2 in their semi-final match against Crystal Park. It was for the second time this highly skilled and tactical side won the title following their first win in 2007.
The teams, including the losing finalists underwent a rigorous workout from the David Beckham academy as part of the prize for reaching the finals. This gave an opportunity to the youngsters to learn more about the technical and tactical side of the game including understanding the basics of the concept of football.
Meanwhile, Netherlands are the 2009 legends champions following a 5-0 drubbing of England. Netherlands, managed by Ruud Gullit booked their place in the final by defeating Brazil 2-0 in the semi-finals whilst England had earlier beaten South Africa 3-0.
As the three year contract to host Soccerex comes to an end for South Africa, the convention can among others be accredited with having placed Gauteng on the map and gave a picture of what to expect come the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
According to MEC Nelisiwe Mbatha-Mthimkhulu Gauteng is ready to host the World. "Through Soccerex the province and its people have been the face of the rest of South Africa in proving that we'll host a successful World Cup. The spectacle has managed to bring exposure not only to Gauteng as the host of the bulk of the World Cup activities but also to our football development where our young players received coaching clinics from the world renowned David Beckham Academy"
With the first part of the Soccerex over i.e. the football festival, the convention will continue until 2 December when the exhibition and conference phase kicks in.
For more information contact:
Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation
Tel: 011 355 2578
Cell: 083 507 8068
Issued by: Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Gauteng Provincial Government
30 November 2009
Source: Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Gauteng Provincial Government (http://www.srac.gpg.gov.za)