Mpopoma High sweeps Nash championships in Bulawayo

16 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Mpopoma High sweeps Nash championships in Bulawayo Mpopoma celebrate

Nkosilathi Sibanda, Sports Reporter 

MPOPOMA High School proved to be too good for their opponents as they won the Bulawayo Province National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) boys’ Under-17 and girls’ Under-20 age-groups at Gifford High School on Friday.

Baker’s Inn sponsored the football championships.Mpopoma’s victory was somehow a show that the school is becoming a football powerhouse in the city.

In the girls’ final, Mpopoma beat Mzilikazi 2-1. Mpopoma girls are champions for the second time in a row, having also upset Mzilikazi at last year’s finals. Mpopoma won the boys’ title 1-0 over rivals Sobukhazi.

What made Mpopoma’s victory sound and feel “sweet” for them, was that they beat two schools, Mzilikazi and Sobukhazi, who have for years looked as if they were the only schools with football talent in the whole Metropolitan Province.This time, it was for Mpopoma to shine.

Those that fielded girls’ teams were Mpopoma, Mzilikazi, Entumbane, Sobukhazi, Pumula, St Bernard’s, Riverdale Academy, Nkulumane, Tennyson Hlabangana, Montrose, Emganwini and Sikhulile High Schools.

For the boys, the tournament had Mpopoma, Sobukhazi, Lobengula, Mzilikazi, Gifford, Induna, Entumbane, St Bernard’s, Sikhulile, Khami, Mncumbatha and Riverdale Academy.

Mpopoma girls were in Pool A with Riverdale Academy, Emganwini and St Bernard’s. One of their biggest wins in the group stage was a 10-0 walloping of Emganwini. 

They went on to beat St Bernard’s 8-0, to advance smoothly to the next stage. Mzilikazi’s best match by scoreline was when they netted seven goals past a hapless Sikhulile High.In the semi-finals, Mpopoma beat Sobukhazi High 11-0. 

Mzilikazi High girls had a narrow 1-0 win over Entumbane.As the tournament was drawing to an end, the boys semi-finals took centre stage. Teams had to be separated on penalties, after displaying the kind of school boy football that kept spectators on the edge.

Mpopoma beat Mzilikazi 6-5 on the lottery, after both teams had settled for a nil all draw at regulation time. Sobukhazi won 4-2 over Lobengula, also through penalties.

They were deadlocked at 0-0 after full-time.Mpopoma High School sports director James Rugwevera said they owe it to hard work that they won. 

“This time around, the girls will go to the national finals well prepared. The same applies to the Under-17 boys who had a tough final. The semi-final was difficult against  Mzilikazi as we went for the penalties. Now that we are going to the national finals, I think we are going to prepare well.

“I credit the victory of both teams to hard work by everyone at Mpopoma High, starting from the teachers, students and the administration, we are all working as a unit. So, when we work as a unit it’s easy to get results,” said Rugwevera.

The winning girls’ coach, Nobuhle Majika said she is happy with the strides the team is making towards being better all the time.

“Mpopoma High School girls have so much respect for the game and what it takes to be a champion. They respect their opponents and know how to fight for a win in such tournaments,” she said.

Majika, a former Mighty Warriors player was of the view that they were many talented girls in schools who must be identified for national teams.

“I saw a lot of talented youngsters whom I believe deserve a call up in national teams, from the Under-17s going up. It is all about belief and preparing the players while they’re still tender and open for correction. I thank the Mpopoma girls and the entire staff at the school for giving me this opportunity to help the school. The results are showing that we are working hard,” she said.

Nash Bulawayo Province head in charge of football, Cain Ncube said they were proud to see that football standards have improved in the province and would want to go further and win the national finals.

“We witnessed exciting football, a touch of class that one doesn’t see elsewhere. We pin our hopes on teams that will represent us at the finals and we are confident they will deliver. Congratulations to Mpopoma and all the schools that committed to compete.

“From day one of the preparations, everything was in order. The games ended well. We thank our sponsors Bakers Inn for their support in giving trophies and medals,” said Ncube who is also the Sobukhazi High headmaster.

In Matabeleland North, Somvubu High School reigned supreme as they won in the Under-17 boys’ finals held at David Livingstone Mission in Ntabazinduna on Friday.

Somvubu beat the hosts 2-0 to advance to the national finals to be held at Oriel Boys High in Harare later this month.Meanwhile, Nash has released the list of the boys Under-17 teams that will compete at the national finals. 

Harare Province has Prince Edward High who were champions and the hosts, Oriel Boys High.

Midlands has Mnene High, Matabeleland South ( Wanezi), Masvingo (Pamushana High),  Mashonaland West (Wanganai High), Mashonaland Central (Rujeko High) and Manicaland (Mt Camel School).




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