Sunward Park Senior Secondary School’s talented striker Ashwin Abrahams scored all four goals against Zitikeni High Secondary School in the final of the JNW Cleaning Solutions tournament at Mehlaring Stadium in Tembisa on Friday 22 July to help his team earn a hard 4-2 victory – as well as a trip to Germany in September.
Named Man-of-the-Match, Abrahams showed little respect for the Zitikeni defenders with his brilliant runs, although his team had to wait for extra time to be declared winners as the score was 2-2 at full-time.
Abrahams scored the first goal for the Boksburh-based school via a penalty after he had been fouled in the area by Vusi Mtsweni with eight minutes remaining in the first stanza. But their lead was shortlived as Zitikeni scored on the stoke of half-time from a superb Mongezi Sicha strike.
Abrahams was at it again after the interval, capitalising on Zitikeni keeper Thabo Lebepe’s failure to control the ball from a cross from Taqriq Bodhania and Abrahams was there to finish it off.
Zitikeni then equalised when Sicha was fouled and Mtsweni made no mistake with the spot kick, and the match went into extra time. The first stanza didn’t produce any goals but Abrahams scored twice in ten minutes in the second to win the match.
In both instances he was set up by Vuyisile Lumka, who also had an excellent game.
In addition, Abrahams was denied by the woodwork several times. In fact, it could have been a feast of goals if it hadn’t been for some fine saves by Lebepe in the Zitikeni goal.
Park coach Cameron Cox said it was a great victory for his boys, “We were tactically disciplined, and the reward of a trip to Germany will be a great experience for the guys.”
His counterpart Sparks Mashego said: “It was tough and we were up against a team who drink and sleep football as they are part of an academy sponsored by (former France international) Patrick Vieira. But my players impressed, too.”
Zitikeni pick up R10,000 worth of soccer kit for finishing runners-up, with School of Excellence and Fred Habedi Primary School taking home R5,000 and R2,500 respectively.
JNW Cleaning Solutions sales manager Katharina Krause said Sunward Park’s 8 September – 8 October trip to Germany is worth R300,000. “It was amazing to see such great talent coming from the schools. We’d like to thank De Beers and Love Life for being our sponsor partners.”
This article was first published in The Star (South Africa).