24 July 2018– USSA (University Sport South Africa) has won the 2018 SAB League National Championship after beating Mpumalanga 2-1 in a tense final played on Sunday, 22 July 2018 at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi near Durban.
This was USSA’s third title in the competition after winning it in 2011 and 2016 – they pocketed twenty thousand rand (R20.000) for their efforts, while Mpumalanga banked half of that amount.
All three goals were scored in the second half.
USSA drew first blood through the tournament’s top goal scorer, Thabang Chuene who beat the Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Bonginkosi Nkosi in the Mpumalanga goals.
It did not take long and the University side increased their lead minutes later when Kavendre Makhene put the ball past Nkosi again, to bring their tally in the tournament to 13 goals in six matches.
Mpumalanga push for a nail-biting finish after Khulekani Masemola pulled one back for his side – but that is how it ended, 2-1 to USSA.
This was USSA’s third final in a row, after finishing as runners up to Gauteng in 2017.
Their coach, Godfrey Tenoff walked away with the Coach of the Tournament award this time around, while Chuene was named the Man of the Match – his second in the competition.
For Mpumalanga, this was a better showing as they won bronze last year.
They have never won this tournament with their best place finish as runners up in 2013, 2015 and 2018.
Earlier in the day, 2018 winners Gauteng walloped Limpopo 7-1 to end in third place.
In an interesting scenario, in 2017 the medalists were Gauteng, USSA and Mpumalanga – same as in 2018, but this year they have swopped places – USSA, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
INDIVIDUAL AWARDS WINNERS:
COACH OF THE TOURNAMENT: Godfrey Tenoff (USSA)
GOALKEEPER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Bonginkosi Nkosi (Mpumalanga)
TOP GOAL SCORER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Thabang Chuene (USSA – 5 goals)
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Tristan Hansloo (USSA)
REFEREE OF THE TOURNAMENT: SANELE MANDLOPHE
- Total number of matches: 24
- Total number of goals: 82
- Total number of teams: 10 (9 provinces and a select University side)
- Team with the highest number of goals: USSA – 13 in six matches
- Team with the lowest number of goals: Northern Cape – 3 in four matches
- Fastest goal: 2ndminute – Armstrong Gumbi (KZN)
- Player who scored most goals in a match: Thabang Chuene (USSA – 4)
- Total red cards: 4 (Limpopo, Gauteng, KZN x2)
- Number of own goals: 2
- Number teams without points in the tournament: 2 (Northern Cape and Western Cape)
Sunday, 22 July 2018
Limpopo 1 – 7 Gauteng
USSA 2 – 1 Mpumalanga
SAFA/SAB U21 LEAGUE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
CHAMPIONS RUNNER-UP THIRD PLACE FOURTH PLACE
2008-2009 Free State Northern Cape Limpopo Gauteng
2009-2010 Eastern Cape North West Gauteng Western Cape
2010-2011 USSA Gauteng Mpumalanga Free State
2011-2012 Gauteng USSA Mpumalanga Kwazulu-Natal
2012-2013 Western Cape Mpumalanga Kwazulu-Natal Limpopo
2013-2014 Free State North West
2014-2015 Free State Mpumalanga USSA Limpopo
2015-2016 USSA Free State Gauteng Limpopo
2016-2017 Gauteng USSA Mpumalanga Western Cape
2017-2018 USSA Mpumalanga Gauteng Limpopo