Promotion League team dominate Easter tournaments and walks away with R13k in cash prizes

Football News

The younger siblings turned the tables on their big brothers when Total Football United FC held Flymingo United FC to a 1-1 all draw for 90 minutes before defeating them 4-3 on penalties in the second final of Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge played on Wednesday 01 May 2019 at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya. The young promotion league side made history by defeating the 2017 champions who are not only senior to them at club level but also sitting in the top 3 of the Gert Sibande SAB League division this season.
The open tournament continued on May Day after the original semi-finals were postponed due to SAB League fixtures which were scheduled on Easter Monday 22 April 2019. The final was expected to be a dull affair due to the relationship the two teams have. They are one club but separated by the names used in their respective leagues. The young side changed the name in the beginning of 2015/16 league season to Total Football United after finishing in the top four of the promotion league the previous season. They went on to win the league two times but could not get out of the playoffs. The development teams are registered as Flymingo United with Thokozani ‘TK’ Hlatshwayo as coach. The senior team is involved in the SAB League with Sbusiso Rare and Sibusio “Carlos” Ndlovu in charge of the technical team.

The siblings match began slowly with both teams playing as if playing for a draw until the first goal which was scored by Nhlanhla of Flymingo United FC in the 1st half. The goal did not cause much excitement even the celebration was not taken serious even though Nhlanhla beat several defenders to score. The match got its spark in the 2nd half when Total Football United equalised through a goal which was scored by Senzo. His well taken corner went straight into goal without being touched causing confusion in the stadium. It was not clear if it went behind the goal post and entered through a hole in the net or it was just a perfect corner.

"This is not good the senior players are supposed to be teaching the boys how to play by challenging them not to intimidate them like this. Their defenders kept on harassing the young boy shouting at him and using all sorts of intimidation tactics and now he is injured,"

The match referee Thabo Gumbi consulted with his assistant Mbhobho Khumalo and they both decided to award the goal. Both teams suddenly woke up realising that anyone had a chance of winning the game without showing the other the seriousness in which they wanted the game. They pretended like they did not want to win until the equaliser. The goal reminded them that there is a huge difference between R10000 and the R3000 cash money for second place.

The match got ugly towards the end of the second half with both teams tiring and the score still 1-1, tackles started flying. Total Football United striker Mfanufikile ‘Benzema’ Nhleko(18) was running non-stop at Flymingo defenders who were tired from playing two matches earlier. He was badly tackled by Thabiso in a studs up challenge leading to the young player being hospitalised. The match referee surprisingly gave Thabiso a yellow card for the challenge which further strained tension between the two teams which belong to one club. The two benches exchanged words on the touchline with Flymingo United coach Sbusiso ‘Rare’ protecting his player and Total Football United coach Teekay protesting the harsh tackle to the young man.

Dangerous Darkies striker attempts to lob the ball over the Total Football United keeper in the Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge Semi Final 2 match. Total Football United won the match 2-1 at Mandla Magudulela on Wednesday 01 May 2019.

Teekay later expressed his disappointment at the manner in which his young players were treated. "This is not good the senior players are supposed to be teaching the boys how to play by challenging them not to intimidate them like this. Their defenders kept on harassing the young boy shouting at him and using all sorts of intimidation tactics and now he is injured," said the coach.

The match continued with both teams looking to score the winner but they had tired legs. The game ended with 1-1 and went straight to the lottery of penalties. The game was won by the young side 5-4 on penalties defeating their big brothers to claim the R10000 cash money and a trophy coupled with some bragging rights. It was the 2nd win for Total Football United in the 5th edition of Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge. They won R7000 cash and a trophy with medals for winning the promotion league division tournament in the first final played on Easter Monday 22 April 2019. This capped a great finish to the season for a club that also finished 2nd in the league which was by far the only disappointment of the season.

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