Hosts Gifford High School emerged winners of the Under-15 Smile for Africa boys’ football tournament after beating Masotsha High 4-1 in the final on Saturday.
Gifford players were awarded a trophy and medals while Masotsha received medals. The tournament was held under the auspices of National Secondary School Heads (Nash).
The winners topped Pool B to qualify for the semi-finals while Masotsha was number two in the group that also included Mandwandwe and Sikhulile.
In Pool A Luveve High School was first with Mzilikazi coming out on position two.
Other schools in Pool A were Pumula — who replaced St Benards — and Tennyson Hlabangana.
Gifford beat Luveve 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 deadlock in regulation time in the semi-final to storm into the final. Masotsha then beat Mzilikazi 2-1 to meet Gifford.
Smile for Africa programmes director Lazarus Banda said the tournament was well-organised and was looking forward to make it bigger next year and going national in future.
“It was a good competition being a pilot tournament and school coaches were very happy. In principle we have agreed with Nash to incorporate the tournament into their annual calendar and hope to go national in future,” Banda said.
The Top Goalscorer of the Tournament was Stanic Siziba who emerged with eight goals and received a trophy and football kit.
Bukhosi Sibanda from Gifford was Player of the Tournament and he also got a trophy and football kit while each participating team received a ball.
The tournament attracted football enthusiasts who included former Highlanders players Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo and Dumisani Nyoni.
Smile for Africa — a Christian non-governmental organisation — paid tribute to Kingdom Bank, Clarion Insurance and Kings and Queens Restaurants for making the tournament a success.