The Free State’s Bloemfonten Celtic defeated Gauteng qualifier JVW 1-0 to be crowned 2016 Sasol League National Champions at the D’Almeida Stadium in Mosselbaai, Western Cape on Sunday, 11 December.
This was a great improvement for the Free State side as they finished in 5th position in 2015.
On paper, JVW looked the stronger of the two as they had five players from the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana team – Yolula Tsawe, Amanda Dlamini, Janine van Wyk, Mamello Makhabane and Nompulelelo Nyandeni, while Celtic only had two – Shiwe Nogwanya and Bambanani Mbane.
With no goals at the break, it seemed the game was headed for the dreadful penalty shootout, but the Free State made sure they won at their first attempt in the final.
Emily Moholoholo scored the all-important goal in the 70th minute. She beat Tsawe in the JVW goals and the defence tried to clear the ball but it had already crossed the line and the referee pointed to the centre.
There was jubilation from the Free State side, while dejection could be seen on the faces of the JVW players.
Celtic held on to claim their first ever Sasol League National Championship title.
This was their ninth appearance in the tournament but the first time they made the final – and the celebrations clearly showed when the final whistle sounded.
“We didn’t want to let the sponsors Sasol down – we have been coming to this tournament but not winning anything,” said a jubilant Celtic coach Edwin Lisene.
“So we felt this was our time. I would like to congratulate my players on a job well done. They played very well and had great disclipline on the field. They showed they are a professional team – we came here on a mission and now it’s accomplished,” said Lisene.
“There was too much wind today and I told the girls not to play the ball in the air but to knock it around and the plan worked. Now we can safely say we would like to come back and get to the final and win it again, but we need to go back and plan even better – but I am confident we will be back here and defend our title. For now it is celebration time.”
For JVW, regardless of the loss, they have still made great strides. “I am extremely proud of my team they worked really hard the whole season, we didn’t really aim for this but it came unexpected to all of us,” said captain Van Wyk.
“I take my hat off to them for the performance they gave, sadly it was not our day. I am delighted we not only made the National Championship, but are also finalists. We are second in the country and we can only grow from here on,” said captain Van Wyk.
“We have a young team, some of the players are 16 years and our oldest player is 36 – but we have one thing in common, which is football.
“I am proud of them – we came here to showcase our talent and that is exactly what we did, just a pity we did not get the troph, which we so wanted to win, but we are grateful for what we have achieved, I have no doubt that we will be back next year again more determined.”
Moholoholo was chosen as the Diski Queen of the Match, while her championship-winning team Bloemfontein Celtic walked away with fifty-thousand rand R50.000 after clinching the title. Runners-up JVW pocketed R35.000.
Kanatla Ladies from Limpopo clinched third place after defeating Coal City Wizzards of Mpumalanga 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 stalemate at the end of regulation time.
In the Individual accolades, Lesedi Matjila won the Top Goalscorer of the Tournament with eight goals, with Yolula Tsawe walking away with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament. Queen of Queen or Player of the Tournament award went to Mamello Makhabane, as well as the Player of the Tournament Award.
Celtic captain Boitumelo Rabale was named the Young Queen of the Tournament.
SASOL National League Day 6 Fixtures on Sunday, 11 December 2016:
3rd/4th Place Play-Off: Kanatla Ladies 2-2 (Pen. 4-2) Coal City Wizzards
Final: Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 JVW
SASOL National Championships Rankings:
1. Bloemfontein Celtic (Free State) – R50 000
2. JVW (Gauteng) – R35 000
3.Kanatla Ladies (Limpopo) – R25 000
4. Coal City Wizzards (Mpumalanga) – R20 000
5. City Lads Ladies (Eastern Cape) – R18 000
6. Durban Ladies (KwaZulu-Natal) – R16 000
7. UWC (Western Cape) – R14 000
8. Golden Ladies (North West) – R12 000
9. Richmond Ladies (Northern Cape) – R10 000
Top Goalscorer of the Tournament: Lesedi Matjila (Coal City Wizzards – 8 goals)
Referee of the Tournament: Lindiwe Thwala
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Yolula Tsawe (JVW)
Young Queen of the Tournament: Boitumelo Rabale (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Queen of Queens of the Tournament: Mamello Makhabane (JVW)
Bloem Celtic’s Road to the Final:
3 – 2 vs Coal City Wizzards
11 – 1 vs Richmond Ladies
1 – 0 vs Kanatla Ladies (semi-final)
JVW’s Road to the Final:
3 – 2 vs UWC
1 – 0 vs Durban Ladies
1 – 0 vs Coal City Wizzards (semi-final)
Video 1 caption: The sounds and sights of celebration – Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies celebrate winning the 2016 SASOL League national Championship, after beating JVW 1-0 in the final at Mossel Bay on Sunday 11 October, 2016. Video: Supplied
Photo 1 caption: Diski Queen Emily Moholoholo being interviewed by SABC Sport pitch side reporter Mpho Maboi after her 69th minute goal gave her side the decisive winner. Playing up the right wing, the midfielder read the JVW off-side line perfectly to receive Tsetse Kgadiete’s pass to mark the single goal of the tournament final. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 caption: The moment Moholoholo slid the ball under JVW and Banyana Banyana keeper Yolula Tsawe, to turn the tables on the Gauteng side. Moholoholo had a big impact on the game, having come close to scoring just before the half-time whistle before being denied by JVW skipper Janine van Wyk. Image: Screengrab off the SABC Sport broadcast
Photo 3 caption: The coveted trophy was won by Bloem Celtic, the Free State qualifying team’s first historic win, in the seven edition of the prized national championship. Image: Screengrab off the SABC Sport broadcast
Photo 4 caption: What it all came down to – the numbers suggest that Bloem Celtic had an upper hand in the game despite an even distribution of possession. Image: Screengrab off the SABC Sport broadcast
With editing by gsport