French touch rubs off on Real Madrid’s U13s

Real Madrid coach Marks ‘Mocks’ Maseko believes his U13 team’s recent trip to France worked wonders following their triumph in the final of the Maimane Alfred Phiri (Map) Games 2016.

The Madrid juniors were crowned champions of the Map Games following their penalty victory over new kids on the block, Alex Royal Tigers, following a 1–1 deadlock in regulation time. Tigers’ Musa Nkutla had opened the scoring in the second minute of the game but that lead was cancelled by a strike from Madrid’s Kabelo ‘Manyama’ Seopa, an MC Weiler schoolboy, six minutes later.

As per the rules of the tournament, the game went straight to penalties to decide the champions, and Maseko’s boys emerged victorious 5–4.

By taking the crown, Madrid dethroned their arch-rivals, Malandela Mighty Heroes, who were knocked out in the semis by Tigers on penalty kicks after a 0–0 stalemate.

“I believe the trip to France played a major role in my boys’ triumph in the Map Games as they learnt so much from their world peers in the Volkswagen Junior Masters World Tournament,” said Maseko, who travelled with the boys along with tournament head coach, Lebo Ndebele.

The Madrid boys were part of the Volkswagen South Africa team comprising players of Wanderers Warriors and Balfour Park junior soccer clubs who played in the world tournament at the headquarters of the French Football Federation in Clairefontaine en Yvelines from 13 to 16 May.

Although knocked out in the early stages of the tournament, Maseko said there were a number of valuable lessons learnt by his boys from the trip and he believes some of those lessons helped them in their victory in the Map Games.

Some of the outstanding players for Madrid were Dineo ‘Waka-Waka’ Ntsimane, Tshepang

‘Computer’ Mabokela and Lebogang ‘Skates’ Mosena who hails from Thembisa.

Sipho Siso

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