Victory paves the way

The Moroka High School’s u.15 boys team’s stunning win of the Copa Coca-Cola provincially has set a benchmark ahead of this year’s national final later this month.

Buoyant coach Relebohile Ran­tsoabe believes the win is the yardstick for cup challenge.

He was speaking in the wake of the school crowned as the 2018 Copa Coca-Cola Free State champion.

Gutsy Moroka beats an equally determined Dr Reginald Cingo High School from Kroonstad by 3 – 2 via a penalty shoot-out to claim the provincial trophy at the finals staged on 25 August in Bethlehem.

The winner was decided through penalties after the teams were gridlocked one all after regulation time.

Six schools competed for the provincial trophy.

The hard-earned victory meant the school from Thaba Nchu has qualified to represent the province at the national final taking place in Port Elizabeth from 26 to 29 September.

The school will make its second appearance at this year’s national final to feature nine provincial winners. On debut in 2015 the school performed dismally and failed to score a single goal.

Rantsoabe said he and assistant coach Jerry Makhalenyane took some positives from the 2015 edition.

“Aware of the standard, myself and Makhalenyane have worked on a strategy to improve in line with the national standard,” said Ran­tsoabe, who now works with new assistant coach Mokati Mokati.

Together with the new assistant coach, Rantsoabe continued working on a recipe for success of scouting for talented players from 2016.

They were rewarded by reaching two semi-finals in the region, in 2016 and 2017.

“The core of the 2017 team consisted of u.14 players who reached the regional semi-final in the same year. This year we won the provincial championship and it signalled that we are on the right track,” said Rantsoabe.

Moroka ended the tournament as the highest goal scorers, seven in total.

Moroka represented the Motheo Region. The other participants were Ipetleng from Petrusburg (Xhariep), Lesaoana and Akofang from Qwaqwa (Thabo Mofutsanyana) and Mosala from Allanridge (Lejweleputswa).