27 Aug 2014 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 AUG (NAMAPA) The Omusati Region were crowned as the new champions of the Skorpion Zinc Cup on Tuesday, after their 2-1 win over Hardap Region at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Omusati beat Erongo 3-1 in the semi-finals early on Tuesday to book a spot in the finals, while their fellow finalist Hardap Region overcame the defending champions Khomas Region with a 2-1 win in the second semi-finals.
In the final, both teams put up a good account of themselves, as the first half ended 0-0.
In the second half, Omusati came out firing on all cylinders with Daniel Kamenya opening the scoring in the 60th minute of the match. But the Hardap Region fought back bravely to equalise in the 78th minute through a goal by Brendon Kotungondo.
With only three minutes left on the referees clock Natanael Nghifikwa scored the winning goal for Omusati Region and they took the crown as the 2014 winner of the Skorpion Zinc Cup.
Speaking to Nampa after the game, Omusati Regions coach Shipena Nakalondo said the youth tournament went well for his team despite the many difficulties that his team had to deal with ahead of the competition.
We had some troubles with transportation to Windhoek. After we managed to get a bus, I motivated the boys to focus on their game and now we are the champions of this second edition of the Skorpion Zinc Cup, said Nakalondo.
He admitted that his team did face some tough opposition, especially in the opening matches.
In the first half of our match against Hardap, they played long balls and we failed to take control of the game. But everything worked out well for us in the second half, as we started playing ground balls that made it very difficult to the Hardap Region to have control of the possession, he boasted
Nakalondo said his U-17 side will now prepare for next years The Namibian Newspaper U-20 Cup, and he said he is confident that his boys have a good chance of being crowned champions of that tournament as well.
Hardap Region Coach, Eduard Ortman was delighted with the performance of his team despite losing to Omusati.
This was a big team building exercise for me and the boys. I cant believe we got this far in the tournament. Our boys are very small physically and we choose players even born in the year 2000 while most teams had players in the 1998 and 1999 age group, he charged.
He told Nampa that he will drop many of the older players from the team, and will only keep eight players from the current crop for next years Skorpion Zinc Cup next year.
Meanwhile, in the third place playoff, Khomas Region proved to be too strong for the Erongo Region, thrashing the coastal team 4-1.
Omusati Regions Daniel Kamenya was voted player of the tournament, and he walked away with a trophy, and a cheque worth N.dollars 3 000 plus a pair of Puma football boots.
Omusati Region also walked away with the fair play award trophy.
The top goal-scorer award went to Hardaps Brendon Kotungondo who netted six goals in total.
He walked away with a cheque of N.dollars 2 000, Puma football boots and a trophy.
Otjozondjupas goalkeeper Abel Paulus claimed the award for goalkeeper of the tournament, and he walked away with N.dollars 2 000, a trophy and Puma football boots as well.
Omusati Region won, N.dollars 20 000 for winning the youth competition, Hardap Region won N.dollars 10 000 as runner-ups and Khomas walked away with N.dollars 6 000 for coming third, while the Erongo Region took home a cheque of N.dollars 4 000 for finishing fourth.
This was the second time that the U-17 football tournament was hosted, with the first edition held at Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region last year.
The tournament is hosted by the Skorpion Zinc Mine in collaboration with the Namibia Football Association (NFA).
The tournament involves 13 regional U-17 football teams vying for recognition and top honours.
Khomas Region won the inaugural Skorpion Zinc Cup.