Ngcanga puts Ussa on top spot

YOUNG and talented goalkeeper Abongile Ngcanga single handedly won the 2011 SAB Under-21 National Championships for University Sport South Africa on Saturday.

Ngcanga saved three penalties when Ussa beat Gauteng 3-2 at Eldorado Park Stadium.

The match was decided on penalties after a 1-all stalemate in regulation time.

Man of the Match Oscar Motshokgwa opened the scoring in the 10th minute for Gauteng with Ussa equalising through Jerome Stowman in the 80th minute.

During the penalty shootout, Ussa scored through Mlungisi Mbujana, Siyanda Funo and Mpasa Kaibe. Gauteng converted theirs through Thabo Leholi and Mzanakhe Tshalalela.

This was sweet revenge for Ussa whose only defeat in the group stages was when they went down 1-0 to Gauteng, coached by Sundra Govinder.

Coach of the tournament Thomas Thema, who guides Ussa, said: "I thought we played well despite the bad start.

"We should have wrapped it up in the second half, but we are happy that we won and are the new SAB Under-21 national champions.

"It feels good to be a champion," said Thema, whose products in the PSL include Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Vincent Kobola, Richard Rantjie, Edgar Manaka and Tlou Molekwane.

Thema used to work at the Turfloop School of Excellence which was owned by Jerry Ramohlale, a top development coach who is now into farming in Limpopo.

SAB corporate affairs manager Dr Vincent Maphai said: "It was a great week of top drawer development soccer, we really enjoyed it.

"We are passionate about football development and will continue supporting it. We want to see Bafana Bafana getting quality players."

Also present was Safa president Kirsten Nematandani who said: "SAB plays a very important role in the development of soccer and we appreciate it very much.

"This is a great platform for scouting players."

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