The underdogs ruled the roost at the 2023 Siyakhula Cup, as KwaMashu and Umlazi amateur outfits made it into the final in the boy’s category.
KwaMashu’s Induna Sports Academy took on Trouble Tigers in a closely contested final at Siripat Sports Grounds in Reservoir Hills.
Induna Sports Academy had to dig deep to emerge victorious, as they scored the winner from a spot-kick late in the second half to be crowned this year’s U-15 Siyakhula cup champions.
To book their place in the final, Induna beat host club and defending champions AmaZulu FC 4-2 on penalties. Trouble Tigers had to come from a 1-0 first half deficit in their semifinal bout against V Boys Academy to ultimately book their place in the final with a 3-1 scoreline.
Another tournament favourite, KZN Football Academy saw their hopes for the title dashed by V Boys Academy in a 5-4 penalty quarterfinal elimination.
The girl’s category saw Senzokuhle FC defeat Adams Academy in a penalty shootout to take home the title after playing to a 1-1 draw.
Induna and Senzokuhle each received a R10,000 cheque for sports equipment and a Hollywoodbets-sponsored match kit.
The tournament, which was powered by the Hollywood Foundation, took place on 12 and 13 August at Siripat Sports Grounds in Reservoir Hills. The event has gained a reputation for nurturing young football talent and offering a platform for promising players to display their skills.
Supporters were excited to witness the talent displayed by the four girls teams, who were introduced to the tournament this year, marking a significant step towards promoting gender inclusivity in development tournaments.
This expansion underscores the dedication of the AmaZulu Community Trust and Hollywoodbets to empower young female athletes and provide them with equal opportunities on the football field.
Senzo Mkhize, Coach for Senzokuhle FC, said, “We are grateful to have been invited to such a prestige youth football tournament, especially because we are currently in Women’s Month.
“We are proud of our girls for having won this tournament. The prizes in the form of equipment will go a long way in helping us develop our girls.”
Indira Albuquerque, Senior Sponsorship Coordinator at Hollywoodbets, said, “With these types of competitions, we are not only able to create a competitive platform for the youth but also create a platform for talent identification.
“Congratulations to Induna Academy and Senzokuhle Academy for their fantastic performances. We are also delighted to have had girls taking part in the competition and hoping that it will grow bigger and better.
“We have established a great partnership with AmaZulu Community Trust and SAFA eThekwini in delivering a wonderful tournament and we will continue to work together to grow the game. Well done to all involved in making the weekend a success.”
Tournament Co-Director, Bukelani Mthembu, said, “The Hollywoodbets U-15 Siyakhula Cup is a brainchild of two brands who have their roots in the development of youth participation in football.
“We don’t doubt for one bit that with the continued support of SAFA eThekwini, this tournament will soon boast a long list of graduates that will go on to make strides in the PSL, Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana and the Hollywoodbets Super League to name a few.
“We are only proud as AmaZulu Football Club through the AmaZulu Community Trust to play a part in providing a platform for youth to showcase their talent.”
Player of the Tournament – Sphelele Zaca, Trouble Tigers
Leading Goalscorer of the Tournament – Sphelele Zaca, Trouble Tigers
Player of the Tournament – Okuhle Sithole, Senzokuhle Academy
Goal of the Tournament – Zandisiwe Mbuthu, Adams Academy