Gauteng win 2012 AWL National Championships

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Nine goals were scored in the final which was played on Thursday, August 9, at the Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley, Northern Cape – a fitting way to celebrate Women's Day.

It was the third time lucky for Gauteng, who lifted the trophy in 2009, 2010 and 2012 – with Eastern Cape winning it in 2011.

Gauteng defeated surprise package of the tournament, North West, 6-3.

The champions made their intentions very clear when they took the lead in the 11th minute through Mavhungu Manyanya, before Mvala equalised four minutes later.

Maria Lebusa celebrated her 17th birthday with a goal that restored Gauteng's lead as they went to the break.

Mvala kept her side in the hunt for the title with her second strike shortly after the restart but Belina Sibisi – chosen as the Player of the Tournament – put Gauteng back in control with a goal in the 42 nd minute. Four minutes later, Prudence Setuasi stretched the lead to 4-2, and a double strike by Agnes Manzini put the result beyond doubt with Mvala scoring in-between the goals.

Among others, the match was attended by Safa NEC members Theodore Khupe, Nomsa Mahlangu, Sam Masitenyane and Lefore Lerefole, as well as Safa CEO Robin Petersen.

"We are thrilled with the way the tournament unfolded despite the bitingly-cold conditions throughout the week. What we saw today was a great improvement from the time this tournament was launched four years ago," says Masitenyane, who is also the chairperson of the Safa competitions committee.

"It is obvious that Banyana Banyana have inspired many of the girls here because we now see the number of players is growing across the country. But we would still love to see parents supporting their children so we can make this a family affair. And we also call upon the corporate world to come on board to help us develop these players for the sake of our national teams."

The tournament has been sponsored by Absa since its inception in 2009.

"Development of women's football is very important to us, and we are glad to have been part of the improvement over the years. What we saw during this week are future national team players and they need all the support they can get from all of us," says Steward Masela, Absa sponsorship manager, who was also among the crowd.

"It is also a fitting tribute to all women that nine goals were scored on the 9th of August when we celebrate Women's Day."

Earlier in the day, Free State claimed bronze after defeating KwaZulu-Natal 1-0 in the third place play-off.

Shiwe Nogwanya scored the solitary goal to take her tally to nine in the tournament, helping her scoop the top scorer award.

 

There were a number of individual awards handed out:

Assistant Referee of the Tournament: Mirriam Those

Referee of the Tournament: Lufuno Nemaghovani

Most Promising Player of the Tournament: Bongeka Gamede (KZN)

Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Keabetswe Moaludi (NW)

Team Manager of the Tournament: Likeledi Khomari (FS)

Coach of the Tournament: Junior Morake (NW)

Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament: Shiwe Nogwanya (FS)

Player of the Tournament: Belina Sibisi (Gauteng)

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