The Mkhondo LFA hosted a ladies’ soccer tournament on Women Day on the 9th of August 2018 at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya in Mkhondo Local Municipality. The top four tournament involved two invitational teams made up of players based in Mkhondo against top eSwatini side Young Buffalo Ladies FC.
The first semi-final was won comfortably by Mkhondo Invitational A by 2-1 against Young Buffalo Ladies FC B team. The 2nd semi-final Young Buffalo Ladies FC A team demolished Mkhondo Ladies B team with 7 goals to nil. The final match provided the much needed warmth at the stadium in what was one of the coldest days of winter in Mkhondo. The weather was perfect for the players on the field allowing them to run without tiring easily. The side from the Kingdom of eSwatini had no mercy for the Mkhondo Invitational team, running over the local side like nobody’s business. They scored two goals in the first half taking the match to 2-0 at half time.
The second half resumed with the fit Young Buffalo Ladies team taking the game to the local side. The Mkhondo Ladies tried to hold back the attack but the visitors were just too good with some of their players playing for the Kingdom of eSwatini national women team. The football lesson delivered by the team from eSwatini ended with the score line of 5-0 to the visitors who had brought in their best players for the tournament. A club official told us that they brought their national team players who were in camp to come play this tournament. “We are number one in eSwatini with the majority of our players playing for the national team. Jersey number 3, 8, 11 and 7 are playing in the national women’s team in eSwatini. We were not invited at this year’s Maimane Phiri Games because they know we take everything on offer like last year, we won the MAPs tournament in Joburg,” said the club official who was with the club.
The local team players were chosen from teams based in Mkhondo Local Municipality and trained by local coaches to represent Mkhondo. Players came from the two clubs playing in SASOL League and the Gert Sibande Region Women League where five (5)clubs from Mkhondo are currently playing. The invitational side was initially set to play against Royal Leopard Ladies FC and Manzini Wanderers Ladies FC, two other clubs from eSwatini (former Swaziland). It was reported that Royal Leopards Ladies FC did not come due to transport issues. It was not clear why Manzini Wanderers FC did not come but they are rumoured to be fearing/or not on good terms with one of the teams from eSwatini and decided not to cold.
“This tournament will assist us to see how well our players have developed. Thank you for coming with a full squad that shows how serious you took our tournament.”
The prize giving took place immediately after the final game as the club had to rush to the border before the 6pm cut off time. During the prize giving the chairperson of Mkhondo Women Football Committee Mr Thembela Mdluli thanked the visitors for honouring the games. “We are grateful to Young Buffalos FC for coming to play against our ladies. This tournament will assist us to see how well our players have developed. Thank you for coming with a full squad that shows how serious you took our tournament.” Mr Mdluli who is the chairperson of Mkhondo Women Football Committee then proceeded with the awarding of prizes assisted by Mkhondo LFA 3rd Deputy President Miss Khanyi Ndlangamandla and Mr DJ Mshololo the deputy chairperson of Mkhondo Sports Council.
Sukoluhle of Young Buffalo Ladies FC kept a clean sheet in two games to win the goal keeper of the tournament award. Team mate and eSwatini national women team player Noxolo won the top scorer and player of tournament award. The most promising player was won by Constance from Mkhondo Invitational XI side. The team from the Kingdom of eSwatini Young Buffalo Ladies FC lifted the trophy with gold medals and promised to come back again the following year.