A hat-trick by Palesa Mvala of North West was not enough to stop Gauteng from lifting the Absa Women’s League National Championships 2012 title.
Nine goals were scored in the final, which was played on Thursday, 09 August 2012 at the Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley, Northern Cape – a fitting way to celebrate Women’s Day.
It was third time lucky for Gauteng who lifted the trophy in 2009, 2010 and 2012 – with Eastern Cape winning it in 2011.
Gauteng defeated surprise package of the tournament North West by six goals to three (6-3).
The champions made their intentions very clear when they took the lead in the 11th minute through Mavhungu Manyanya, before Mvala equalised four minutes later.
Maria Lebusa celebrated her 17th birthday with a goal that restored Gauteng’s lead as they went to the break.
Mvala kept her side in the hunt for the title with her second strike shortly after the restart but Belina Sibisi – chosen as the Player of the Tournament – put Gauteng back in control with a goal in the 42nd minute. Four minutes later, Prudence Setuasi stretched the lead to 4-2, and a double strike by Agnes Manzini put the result beyond doubt with Mvala scoring in-between the goals.
Gauteng won 6-3.
Among others, the match was attended by South African Football Association’s (SAFA) National Executive Members (NEC) Theodore Khupe, Nomsa Mahlangu, Sam Masitenyane and Lefore Lerefole, as well as SAFA CEO Dr Robin Petersen.
“We are thrilled with the way the tournament unfolded despite the bitingly-cold conditions throughout the week. What we saw today was a great improvement from the time this tournament was launched four years ago,” said Masitenyane, who is also the Chairperson of the SAFA Competitions Committee.
“It is obvious that Banyana Banyana has inspired many of the girls here because we now see the number of players is growing across the country. But we would still love to see parents supporting their children so we can make this a family affair. And we also call upon the corporate world to come on board to help us develop these players for the sake of our national teams.”
The tournament has been sponsored by Absa since its inception in 2009.
“Development of women’s football is very important to us, and we are glad to have been part of the improvement over the years. What we saw during this week are future national team players and they need all the support they can get from all of us,” said Steward Masela, Absa Sponsorship Manager, who was also among the crowd.
“It is also a fitting tribute to all women that nine goals were scored on the 9th of August when we celebrate Women’s Day.”
Earlier in the day, Free State claimed bronze after defeating KwaZulu-Natal by one goal to nil (1-0) in the third place play-off.
Shiwe Nogwanya scored the solitary goal to take her tally to nine in the tournament, helping her scoop the Top Goal Scorer award.
Final Results of the 2012 ABSA Women’s League Fixtures, at the Galeshewe Stadium, on Thursday, 9 August, 2012: 3rd / 4th Place Play-off: Free State 1 – 0 KwaZulu-Natal Final: North West 3 – 6 Gauteng Individual awards: Assistant Referee of the Tournament: Mirriam Those Referee of the Tournament: Lufuno Nemaghovani Most Promising Player of the Tournament: Bongeka Gamede (KZN) Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Keabetswe Moaludi (NW) Team Manager of the Tournament: Likeledi Khomari (FS) Coach of the Tournament: Junior Morake (NW) Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament: Shiwe Nogwanya (FS) Player of the Tournament: Belina Sibisi (Gauteng) Teams: Group A Northern Cape Western Cape Mpumalanga North West Gauteng Group B Limpopo Free State Eastern Cape KwaZulu-Natal Results from Day 6: (Wednesday, 08 August): Free State 2 – 2 North West (North West won 4-1 on penalties) Gauteng 3 – 1 KwaZulu-Natal Results from Day 5: (Tuesday, 7 August): Free State 5 – 0 KwaZulu-Natal Eastern Cape 2 – 1 Limpopo Gauteng 4 – 1 Western Cape Mpumalanga 1 – 2 Northern Cape Results from Day 4 (Monday, 6 August): Rest Day Results from Day 3 (Sunday, 5 August): Northern Cape 1 – 3 Gauteng Western Cape 2 – 0 North West Limpopo 1 – 1 KwaZulu-Natal Eastern Cape 1 – 5 Free State Gauteng 2 – 2 North West Western Cape 2 – 4 Mpumalanga Results from Day 2 (Saturday, 4 August): North West 4 – 1 Northern Cape Eastern Cape 1 – 2 KwaZulu-Natal Limpopo 2 – 2 Free State Mpumalanga 0 – 4 Gauteng Results from Day 1 (Friday, 3 August): Mpumalanga 0 – 5 North West Northern Cape 4 – 2 Western Cape