'united we win'
Soccer legend Ishmael "Litre" Mokitlane has attributed the success of Free State in the inaugural SAB Under-21 National Championships to teamwork.
Free State was crowned the winners after a 3-1 win over Northern Cape in an exciting final at Clive Solomons Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Mokitlane was a member of the Free State team's technical staff, which was led by Queen Modutoane as head coach.
"We started the tournament badly by losing 2-0 to Northern Cape in the opening game, which was a wake up call to us.
"We regrouped and everything started shaping up well since then, playing as a unit. We also want to thank the people of Free State for their support.
"This win has helped us a great deal in laying a solid foundation to ensure that Free State continues to do well in all the Safa competitions.
"We have to put up good developmental programmes," said Mokitlane, co-owner of the Mangaung Development Centre with Benjamin Reed and Phera Rahlankane.
Free State were the first to draw blood in the 10th minute through Mabeleng Dikotsi after a defence-splitting pass from Mamello Mokoena.
Deadly striker Khotso Moleko added his name on the score-sheet in the 50th minute when he easily beat goalkeeper Raymond Steyn.
Four minutes later, Northern Cape striker Frans Sive pulled one back to temporarily silence the vociferous home crowd.
But Free State went further ahead when Moleko grabbed the third goal after a pass from Mokoena in the 75th minute.
For Northern Cape, the team has made history since they are the first ever from that province to qualify for the finals of a Safa national competition.
Pitso Mosimane, Bafana Bafana assistant coach, was happy for Modutoane, saying: "It's encouraging for him, we did the Safa Level One coaching course together."