Defending champions' Gebhuza High school retained their title in the Matabeleland North Province preliminaries of the R G Mugabe under-20 soccer tournament at Mabhikwa High School in Lupane yesterday. Gebhuza High beat Binga High 1-0 in the final. Victory means that Gebhuza High School will represent Matabeleland North province for two years running.
The tournament is an annual event which was previously sponsored by NASH but is now under the care of the President.
Under-20 schools teams from all over Zimbabwe will converge for the finals from October 5-7 at Kutama High School.
Eight schools participated in the tournament in Hwange and were split into two pools.
Hwange District's Sports and Recreation officer, Enock Ngwenya, hailed his province for hosting a successful tournament.
"This was a small but very well organised tournament. We had an array of talent displayed today and it is unfortunate that junior national selectors were not here to see some of the players we had today.
"The level of competition was very high today and the standard was raised by some of the youngsters who had just come back from the Copa Coca Cola tournament in South Africa."
Hwange High fielded two Under-16 players in their team -- striker Shaun Pumulo and defender Tapiwa Tshuma -- who helped them reach the semi-final stages.
Both players were part of this year's national under-16 squad to South Africa.
Pool A: Gebhuza High School 1 - 1 Hlangabeza; Mabhikwa High school 3 - 0 Dibutibu High School; Mabhikwa high School 2 - 0 Hlangebeza High School; Dibutibu High School 0 - 4 Gebhuza High School; Mabhikwa High School 0 - 0 Gebhuza High School; Dibutibu High School 1 - 5 Hlangabeza High School.
Pool B: Hwange High school 3 - 0 Fatima High School; Binga High School 1 - 0 Somvubu High School; Somvubu High School 1 - 0 Fatima High School; Hwange High School 1 - 0 Binga High School; Fatima High School 1 - 3 Binga High School; Hwange High School 0 - 0 Somvubu High School
Semi final 1: Mabhikwa High School 1(3) - 1 (4) Binga High School *penalties*
Semi final 2: Hwange High School 0 - 1 Gebhuza High School.