excellence clinch it

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

Transnet School of Excellence claimed the inaugural Gauteng Vodacom Inter-school Challenge title when they narrowly beat Rosina Sedibane High School 7-6 on penalties at Lusaka Stadium, Kagiso, on Saturday.

The two teams will represent the "Home of Champions" at the Interschool Challenge national finals in Soweto from October 1 to 4. They reached the finals after topping their respective pools after playing three games each.

Excellence head coach Mandla Mazibuko said it was a great pleasure and achievement to reach the national finals.

He praised the institution's coach James "Akulalwa" Mabena, the former Moroka Swalllows utility player, and his charges for putting up a spirited display in the tournament.

"The players were very disciplined and they stuck to their strength and game plan throughout the proceedings," an excited Mazibuko told Sowetan after the final.

The two teams were cautious in their approach to the game as they toiled to protect their pride and image since they are well structured development institutions.

After a goalless draw in regulation time the game was decided on penalties.

Scorers for Excellence were Andile Dlamini, Avela Cezu, James Mofokeng, Mpho Seloma, Fezile Billie, Motheo Shabalala and Mpho Seloma.

Zakhele Nkosi, Sthembiso Mhlongo, Daylon Appolis, Cebo Meyiwa, Snara Madito and Siyabulela Mose netted for Sedibane. Excellence won a trophy and gold medals. Sedibane got silver.

The winners of the national champions next month will add R200000 to their bank account. They will also represent South Africa at the 2009 World Schools Under-17 Championship in Turkey from April 3 to 8.