28 March 2019 – The four semi-finalists in the 2019 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament have been revealed after a dramatic third day of action at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto on Wednesday.
Defending champions Club Brugge, Russian side FC Spartak, and the local pair of Orlando Pirates FC and the SAFA Gauteng invitational side, will contest the semi-finals on Friday after fancied RCD Espanyol missed out by the narrowest of margins.
Belgian side Club Brugge sealed top spot in Group A with a comprehensive 4-0 success over Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan. Samuel Mangula bagged a brace of goals to go with scores for Lennert Hallaert and Cisse Sandra.
They were joined in the semi-finals by FC Spartak, whose 2-0 victory over local favourites Kaizer Chiefs sealed top spot in Group B.
Sviatoslav Kozhedub and Vlad Shitov were on target for the Russians, who edged Mexican side Club Tijuana into second place after the latter beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 but missed out on goal-difference.
Orlando Pirates had already been assured of top in Group C by the time they took on Spanish side RCD Espanyol, with their 3-0 loss inconsequential to them in the end.
But the Spaniards would have taken the lead in Group D if they had managed just one more goal, in the end finishing level on goal-difference with SAFA Gauteng.
The latter advance to the semi-finals as they scored eight goals in the pool stages to RCD Espanyol’s seven.
Mateo scored his second goal of the competition for the Spanish side, to go with strikes from Grabu and Marc Perez for what was an impressive win, even if it counted for little in the end.
SAFA Gauteng’s march to the semi-finals was boosted by their 5-0 victory over the All India Football Federation. Riandre Vries moved to the top of the tournament scorers’ chart as his brace took his tally to three, while there were further goals for Tebogo Masuku and Yamkela Phalane, with Sajad Parray putting the ball into his own net.
Highlands Park and Italian club Reggio Audace played to a 0-0 draw as the former finished runners-up in Group C.
Club Brugge will tackle Orlando Pirates FC in the first semi-final on Friday at 14h30, while the second Last 4 match will see FC Spartak take on the SAFA Gauteng side at 16h00.
The rest of the fixtures will be for play-off positions, starting with Kaizer Chiefs take on Highlands Park (11h30), Beijing Sinobo Guoan versus Reggio Audace (11h45), Club Tijuana tackle RCD Espanyol (13h00) and Bidvest Wits against the All India FF (13h15).
Entrance to all the matches this week are free!
The players will enjoy a cultural day on Thursday that will see them embark on a range of activities.
First stop will be the FNB Stadium in Soweto, scene of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, before they visit the famous Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world to have two former Nobel Peace Prize winners as past residents in former South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The players will then have lunch at the Lesedi Cultural Village, where they will take in the sights and sounds of South Africa, and finish off with a game drive at the nearby Lion Park.
The Future Champions Gauteng is organised by Global Sports International in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government.
SAFA Gauteng 5 (Tebogo Masuku, Yamkela Phalane, Riandre Vries 2, Sajad Parray og) All India FF 0
Beijing Sinobo Guoan 0 Club Brugge 4 (Lennert Hallaert, Cisse Sandra, Samuel Mangula 2)
Highlands Park 0 Reggio Audace FC 0
Bidvest Wits 0 Club Tijuana 1 (Mario Lopez)
Kaizer Chiefs 0 FC Spartak 2 (Sviatoslav Kozhedub, Vlad Shitov)
Orlando Pirates 0 RCD Espanyol 3 (Mateo, Grabu, Marc Perez)
11h30 – Kaizer Chiefs vs Highlands Park
11h45 – Beijing Sinobo Guoan vs Reggio Audace
13h00 – Club Tijuana vs RCD Espanyol
13h15 – Bidvest Wits vs All India FF
14h30 – Club Brugge vs Orlando Pirates
16h00 – FC Spartak vs SAFA Gauteng