The under 15 COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup tournament ended on Sunday at the Durban Amphitheater in Beachfront city, South Africa where the Zimbabwe girls team finished second after losing to Kwazulu Natal team 1 by eight goals to one in the final.
By Tongai Mwenje
The girls did not disappoint as they scooped the second placed Silver Medal in the inaugural COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup.
Speaking after the three day tournament (6-8 October 2017), the Zimbabwe Under 15 girls coach Yeukai Chiruvu said despite being a learning experience for herself and the girls, the team managed to reach to the final stages of the inaugural tournament.
“I am happy we managed to reach the finals even though we lost. This was a great experience for us. We have learnt a lot more about five-aside matches and we gained a lot of football tactics and techniques from the professional stars like Benni MacCarthy and Stephen Pienaar,” Chiruvu said.
She added that even after the loss to the hosting team in the final they have at least attained experience from the five-aside games which they are not accustomed to.
“Even though we lost, I am happy for the experience. Next year we will be more prepared and ready for five-aside matches because at the moment we are playing eleven-aside matches back home.This was our first time to play five- aside matches,” she added.
The Zimbabwe girls team booked its final ticket following back to back wins against Kwazulu Natal Provincial team 2. The first game saw the Yeukai Chiruvu coached side beating the South African team by 4 goal to three before a convincing 5 goals drubbing of the same team.
Asked about how she managed to stay in the competition, the Chiruvu said she observed how other teams were playing before crafting her strategy.
Chiruvu, who hails from Chidyamakono community thanked the organizers of the tournament for availing a learning platform especially for five-aside matches which are not predominant in the local football.
“This was a learning experience, we don’t play five-aside matches at home. We are grateful for COPA Coca-Cola for this once in lifetime experience. Apart from playing football we had a wonderful experience, touring the Marine World and the Moses Mabhida Stadium. I believe the experience will inspire the girls.”
They also had the opportunity to tour the City of Durban, including the world famous Ushaka Marine World and Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe boys lost their group stage games to Russia by 11-6 and 8-3 to South Africa 1. The boys went to play a friendly match on Sunday with COPA Coca-Cola select team made up of players from various countries and they were beaten 8-6.
The teams are expected to arrive back home on Monday.