19 March 2018 – The South African National Futsal team arrived in Mauritius, mesmerised everyone with sleek skills and goals enroute to lifting the Four Nations Futsal Tournament trophy on Sunday, 18 March.
South Africa were invited to a round robin tournament that featured Comoro, Reunion Islands and the hosts Mauritius. Led by coach Chris Naidoo who is making his international debut at the helm of the national team, South Africa won all their three matches.They began the tournament with a 6-0 win over Reunion then followed that up with a convincing 16-0 victory over Comoro and closed the tournament with tightly contested 5-3 win over the hosts in front of a loud singing.
Mauritius came into the game at the back of a disappointing loss to Reunion Islands and came all guns blazing against South Africa as they were looking to finish with a bang in front of their home crowd and it took 12 minutes for the first goal of the match to come.Curtis do Santos unleashed a thunderbolt that treaded through the Mauritian defence and gave the goalkeeper no chance sending the crowd into deep silence.
Five minutes later, the crowd came alive as the hosts equalised Mohammad Nuckucheddy whose goal was the first for South Africa to concede in 97 minutes of action at the tournament. With the match seemingly in the balance, the youngest player in the team Sabelo “Chief” Mazibuko restored the lead for SA as he doubled the score with aplomb after a good exchange of passes in the 18th minute of the opening stanza.
The goal seemed to have shifted the momentum to coach Naidoo’s boys as they attacked even more and their efforts were rewarded in the 23rd minute, Do Santos added a third goal to send the match to half time with the score at 3-1 to the visitors. The half time talk seemed to have rejuvenated Mauritius as they came back with renewed vigour but Curtis dos Santos gave them a calming tablet as he scored his third goal of the match to make it 4-1 in the very first minute of the second half.
Coach Naidoo urged his players to keep pressing the Mauritians and another chance fell to the team’s talisman, Curtis do Santos who powered the ball into the back of the net to complete his quartet of goals. The home team refused to take the beating lying down and continued to raid the SA half with an array of attacks which eventually paid dividends in the 12th minute of the second half as Perle beat Muzi Mazibuko to make it 5-2.
With the game seemingly done and dusted Mauritius then got another goal in the 17th minute of the second half to setup a nail-biting finish but coach Naidoo’s boys played with maturity to hold on to their 5-3 lead until the end. The win ensures South Africa take home a trophy and gold medals while Reunion beat Comoro in the day’s other match to finish second and bag silver
SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan congratulated the team for their exceptional performance.
“Congratulations to the SA Futsal team and the entire technical staff. You have done the country proud by winning your first international tournament this year” said Jordaan.