Rookies stun School of Excellence
Jerry Nkosi High School from Mpumalanga did the unthinkable by stunning the famed School of Excellence to clinch the Copa Coca-Cola Under-15 tournament, walking away with a cheque of R80,000.
Given their long-standing popularity and the beautiful football, characterised by a Barcelona-inspired "tiki-taka" style, the School of Excellence were firm favourites to lift the cup at Umlazi on Saturday.
However, the Mpumalanga side, who were participating for the first time, managed a 3-2 penalty shootout victory.
The match had finished 2-2 in regulation time. Representing Gauteng, the School of Excellence pocketed R60,000 as runners-up.
One of the tournament's ambassadors Hareaipha "Simba" Marumo viewed Jerry Nkosi's triumph as a sign of growth of the Copa Coca-Cola competition.
"For Jerry Nkosi High to come here for the first time and beat the famous School of Excellence shows that this tournament is growing and the level of competitiveness is also improving," said Marumo.
Jerry Nkosi coach Charles Makwakwa, who teaches economic management, science and business studies at the school, explained how he strategised for School of Excellence.
"We knew that they play good football and their passing game is second to none, but we had to counter that with our strength which was our height and physique," said Makwakwa.
Makwakwa also has ambitions to venture into professional coaching, and looks up to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
"In future I'd really like to coach in the top-flight. I have realised that I was born to work in football, this is just a start," said Makwakwa.