Cedric Mboyisa

In a fast-paced cup final thriller, KwaMhlushwa Real Madrid used its superior skills and home ground advantage to be crowned champions.

The scintillating Selati Cup Final, which is sponsored by RCL Foods, was played in front of a capacity crowd (of approximately 17 000 people) at KwaMhlushwa Stadium in Nkomazi, with Real Madrid – sponsored by TSGRO – as the firm favourites. But Buffelspruit Home Defenders were unperturbed… they went on the attack and forced Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Mbuleni “Pule” Shongwe to produce a brilliant save diving to his left within 10 minutes after the game had started. 

This galvanised Real Madrid to launch a sustained attack on the goalmouth of the Home Defenders who had to do lots of defending by now. Real Madrid players put on a display of carpet football with precision passing as if the ball were a laser guided missile. Real Madrid duly found the net through “Mgijimi” (Innocent Zulu) who scored from a cross.

Instead of relaxing after scoring, Real Madrid pushed for more goals. Mgijimi and Motlale Pule tormented the defence of Home Defenders. Supporters at the stadium erupted into song, egging them on to score more goals. Mgijimi’s pace, a marvel to watch, bamboozled his opponents. 

Real Madrid increased their lead to 2-0 before half time, courtesy of a header by Elias Nyakane from a corner kick. In the 52nd minute (of the second half), Mgijimi missed a golden opportunity to complete his brace and stretch his team’s lead to 3-0. Both teams were unable to find the net. The match was now more like a practice session. Home Defenders did not show any sense of urgency in trying to equalise.

The game ended 2-0 in favour of Real Madrid, with the team walking away with the prestigious trophy and cash prize of R100 000. The losers, Home Defenders, received R60 000 for their efforts. Soccer legend and former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe, Selati Cup ambassador, was on hand to hand over the trophy and medals. 

The Selati Cup is an annual knockout football competition for the Nkomazi area. This year, a total of 128 teams battled it out for the top honours. The competition started in March and culminated in the final showdown in June after 128 teams were whittled down to the last two through a process of elimination. Real Madrid is coached by TSGRO Production Manager Selby Mamba.