Alex Royal Tigers SC U20 lived up to their name of being one of the best hunters when they mauled Gauteng FC 4–1 in the final of the Year-End Community Games at the Alexandra Stadium.
Tigers used their skill of stealthily stalking their prey before pouncing as they used a counter-attack strategy which paid dividends as they walked away with the R20 000 prize money. As silver medallists, Gauteng received R10 000.
If matches were won on skill and nimble-footedness, Gauteng would have come out tops as they mesmerised their opposition with their ball skills and dribbling wizardry.
However, it was Tigers who scored first in less than five minutes of the start of the game through the boot of their left winger Cebisa Mphila who’s thunderous shot left Gauteng goalie Tshepo Linda bemused.
Gauteng then mounted raid after raid on the Tigers goal in search of an equaliser which eventually paid off when Ntokoza Nkosi levelled the score 10 minutes after Tigers had rattled the back of the net.
It was the game on as both teams made forages in search of the lead and it was Tigers that restored their advantage through Eric Tivane.
The two teams went into half-time with Tigers leading 2–1 but on the resumption of the second half, Gauteng again mounted numerous raids in search of the equaliser only to be disappointed as the big cats increased their lead through man of the match, Aubrey Ndlovu, who was a thorn in Gauteng’s flesh.
Tigers could have increased their tally had Tivane not missed a glorious opportunity, only to redeem himself a few minutes later when he scored his second goal that sealed the game for them.
Meanwhile, Gauteng’s senior team which plies its trade in the SAB League walked away with R100 000 in prize money after they beat a tricky JT Black Stars 5–3 on penalties after they were deadlocked 0–0 in regulation time.
Gauteng keeper Mogale Ramalobela was crowned man of the tournament for his brilliant saves throughout the tournament. And none more so in the final in which he kept his team in contention in the face of a rampant Stars strike force including saving one of the penalties before his teammate slotted the winner.
Stars, who are past winners of the Maimane Alfred Phiri Games, pocketed R50 000.