Skeen Primary School has equalled the record currently held by Iphutheng Primary School when it successfully defended the Discovery Cup after beating Ikage Primary School 3–2 on penalties.
The boys’ teams were deadlocked 0–0 at the end of regulation time and proceeded to the dreaded penalty shootout at the Number 3 Square Grounds.
Skeen scored all their three penalties while Ikage had one of theirs saved by the Skeen keeper, ushering principal Phillemon Mashishi’s team to the podium to be crowned the kings of Alex primary schools football for the second year in a row.
Mashishi was the only principal at the ground on the day who came to support his team and shouted instructions from the touchline to his boys until his voice was hoarse. The Iphutheng principal, Kgamaka Thobejane, also used to come to the grounds when his team was in the final.
“I am delighted the boys ultimately triumphed in one of the most difficult games against a determined Ikage,” said Mashishi. “We can look forward to going a step further next year in trying to better the record we now jointly hold with Iphutheng.”
The game was evenly matched as both teams were determined to get the better of the other. Ikage had a free kick on the edge of the box but the strike was blocked by Skeen’s defensive wall while Skeen’s early second-half strike shaved the crossbar.
Ikage’s prolific ball juggler Lebogang Mkhonza of Alex Real Madrid in the Alex League, twice dribbled past a maze of Skeen defenders but was unfortunate that all his efforts went to waste as he could not find the back of the net.
Skeen skipper Sandile Machaba, also of Alex Real Madrid said he was delighted that his team eventually overcame a determined Ikage team on penalties to retain the trophy. “Now we can look forward to next year,” he added.
Half of the Skeen boys who played in this final will be available next year while the others will be attending high school or ineligible due to being over the age limit.
In the girls’ division, Dr Knak were also crowned champions after beating Ekukhanyisweni on penalties. The teams were deadlocked 1–1 in regulation time after Dr Knak’s Moyahabo Khumalo of Bluebirds U15 side had opened the scoring in the second half.
Their lead was short-lived though as Ekukhanyisweni’s workaholic Hellen Lamine of Bluebirds U13 netted the equaliser to send the teams to a penalty shootout, which Dr Knak won 3–2.