The second edition of the Durban U19 International Football Tournament has come to an end with London side Arsenal lifting the trophy after a hard fought 2-1 win over Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
The clash took place at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, 8 August 2015.
KwaZulu Natal Premier, The Honourable Senzo Mchunu presided over the closing ceremony.
“Today we conclude 11 days of exciting football in KwaZulu Natal as we host the final of the 2nd Edition of the Durban u19 International Football Tournament. KwaZulu-Natal, together with eThekwini Municipality, SAFA and Hoy Park Management have again shown the world how committed we are to true football development,” said Premier Mchunu.
“The fair play spirit in the beautiful game prevailed each day of this tournament, and as we prepare for to celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to recognise the mothers and all women in particular for their unselfish contribution in our lives. We would also like to thank everyone for their great support and trust they will continue doing so.”
Eight teams took part in the tournament, which started on Wednesday, 29 July – with two South African sides joining six international squads.
The participating teams were the KwaZulu-Natal Academy Team, the South African U19 squad, VFB Stuttgart (Germany), Galatasary (Turkey), AC Milan (Italy), PSV Eindhoven (Holland), Celtic (Scotland) and Arsenal Academy (England).
Four venues were used to host the tournament – King Zwelithini Stadium (Umlazi), Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (Claremont), Princess Magogo Stadium (KwaMashu) and Moses Mabhida (Durban Central).
The venues were also part of the inaugural tournament in 2014, which was won by Santos FC of Brazil.
For the 2015 edition, South Africa U19 managed bronze after defeating Stuttgart 2-0 in the 3rd/4th place play-off also at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
There were also individual awards on offer.
The Top Goal scorer accolade was a shared affair between Ben Sheaf of Arsenal and Muhammed Yesilyurt of Galatasaray, who scored three goals each.
Sheath was a triple winner as he walked away with not only the winners’ medal and the Top Goal Scorer award but he also scooped the Player of the Tournament award.
Hoy Park Management, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, and the eThekwini Municipality in partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA) staged the tournament.