ELEVEN Champions of Agste Laan informal settlement won the inaugural City Kasi Soccer Tournament after beating United Boys from Staanvas 2-1 in Sunday’s final.
After taking a 2-0 lead at halftime, Eleven Champions withstood a strong second-half comeback by United Boys to emerge victorious and take home the winners’ trophy and a cheque of N$12 000.
United Boys received the runners-up prize of N$9 000, while Brave United received N$7 000 after beating Ondombe XI 1-0 in the third-place playoff.
In terms of the competition rules, the winning teams may only buy football equipment with their prize money.
The tournament, which was sponsored by Coca-Cola and the City of Windhoek to a total amount of about N$120 000, was specifically aimed at soccer teams from the so-called ‘Bush League’ for teams from informal settlements.
The top eight teams from the Bush League competed in the tournament which was held on a gravel soccer pitch in Havana settlement on Saturday and Sunday.
Despite the difficult conditions underfoot, all the teams played with passion and determination, with the players displaying some great ball control and skills to the large crowd that turned out to watch them at the side of Otjomuise road.
In the quarterfinals, Eleven Champions beat Nakuk XI from Wanaheda 2-1; Brave United from Babylon beat Havana City from Havana 4-2 on penalties after a full-time score of 1-1; United Boys of Staanvas beat King Stars from Hakahana 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 full-time score; and Ondobe XI from Greenwell Matongo beat City Stars of Goreangab 3-1 on penalties after a full-time score of 0-0.
In the semifinals, Eleven Champions beat Brave United 1-0 and United Boys beat Ondobe XI 1-0.
Rafael Alutenya of the City of Windhoek said they decided to sponsor the tournament as part of their social responsibility.
“The Windhoek Municipality decided to get involved and focus on the disadvantaged groups of the city, being the informal settlement area. The informal settlements league plays week in and week out without a sponsor, so we decided to get involved as part of our social responsibility and as a way of giving back to the city residents,” he said.
Alutenya said they hoped to expand the tournament in the near future.
“What we are planning to do with Coca-Cola is to form a City of Windhoek Council team
from the players that we have here at this tournament, and we will then invite all of the other local authorities to come and participate with their teams as well. The plan is to host the Coca-Cola-sponsored Inter-Municipal Tournament that will comprise of informal settlement soccer teams,” he added.
“We will definitely continue with this tournament next year when he hope to expand it a bit. We want to incorporate netball from the same areas as well as a mixed volleyball tournament, so that we bring in the gender aspects, and so that we don’t just focus on soccer,” he said.