25 July 2017 – The opening day of the SAB U21 National Championships produced fireworks at the NIKE Training Centre in Soweto as nine provinces plus University Sport South Africa kicked off the highly anticipated championships on Tuesday, 25 July.
Hosts, Gauteng who last won the championships in 2011/12 season had to come back from behind to clinch a hard fought 3-2 victory over Eastern Cape in the opening match of Group A while Western Cape and North West couldn’t find the back of the net in the opening game of Group B, resulting in a 0-0 stalemate.
In the second round of matches, Mpumalanga were ruthless in front of goal with a 4-1 mauling of 2016 tournament hosts, Limpopo. Mpumalanga were back in action in a later fixture against Eastern Cape and had to dig deep for a 2-1 victory that sent them to the top of Group A.
Hot on their heels is Northern Cape who pulled an upset against Gauteng with a 2-1 win for a confidence boosting win in their opening match.
Tournament favourites, Free State who have made it to three consecutive finals in the last three years occupy top spot in Group B with a 2-1 win over KwaZulu-Natal and a 2-2 draw against North West.
However, reigning champions, USSA have made their title defence ambitions clear as they occupy second spot with a game in hand after edging Western Cape by 2-1.
SAB U21 National Championships Day 1 Results and Stats (Click here)