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Action from the final between Ajax Cape Town (red) and Old Mutual (green) during day 3 of the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge at Parow Park, Cape Town on the 17 July 2016 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Action from the final between Ajax Cape Town (red) and Old Mutual (green) during day 3 of the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge at Parow Park, Cape Town on the 17 July 2016 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Old Mutual Academy beat the reigning Engen Champ of Champs title holders, Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in a tense final in front of a packed Parow Park on Sunday 17 July 2016.

The final was a tactical battle between Ajax and Old Mutual with each team looking to exploit any opportunity afforded them to gain an advantage over their opponent. The end-to-end action kept the fans on the edge of their seats until Azhar Abrahams of Old Mutual poked the ball over the goal-line in a packed Ajax penalty area.

Muted celebrations followed as the referee sought the advice of his assistants before signalling to the centre-spot to award the goal. The Mutual fans erupted off their seats, as the players rushed to celebrate in front of family and friends.

Sixteen of the best u/17 youth teams in the Cape Town contested the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge providing a number of surprises throughout the three days of competition.

Old Mutual beat host club Vasco da Gama 3-1 in the first semi-final and in the other semi-final between Ajax and Glendene United the game went to a penalty shootout after finishing in a one-all draw.Ajax prevailed beating Glendene 4-2 to advance to the final for a second successive year.

The Ajax Cape Town captain Sonwabile Mfecane was selected as the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge “Player of the Tournament”.

The tournament’s convenor of selectors, headed by former Cape Town Santos and Bafana Bafana legend, Duncan Crowie said, “Sonwabile lead his team from the front covering every inch of the field during the 90 minutes of play. Despite his team trailing from the solitary goal in the second half, Mfecane continued to contest every challenge in order to get his team back into the game.”

The other individual award winners are:
Referee of the Tournament – Clevin Hendricks
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Lorenzo Steyn (Glendene Utd)
Defender of the Tournament – Brooklyn Poggenpoel (Old Mutual)
Midfielder of the Tournament – Sonwabile Mfecane (Ajax Cape Town)
Striker of the Tournament – Davron Cerfontune (Milano United)
Top Goalscorer’s of the Tournament – Davron Cerfontune (Milano United), Sonwabile Mfecane (Ajax Cape Town), Taariq George (Hellenic FC), Bryce Hendricks (Old Mutual) Nathan Abrahams (Ikapa Sporting) and Cole Harzenberg (Glendene United)
Coach of the Tournament – Kosta Scholiadis (Ajax Cape Town)
Fair play Team of the Tournament – Greenwood Athletic
Player of the Tournament – Sonwabile Mfecane (Ajax Cape Town)

Engen’s Group Sponsorship Manager, Brad Bergh said, “I would like to congratulate Old Mutual for winning the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge Cape Town.

Both Old Mutual and Ajax Cape Town provided an entertaining final game and I am delighted to have seen the high level of competition seen throughout this tournament.

The Engen Knockout Challenge provides South Africa’s top talent with a stage to showcase their skills to leading scouts. The journey to stardom beckons for many young footballers, for these players their journey starts here.

The winners of the regional Engen Knockout Challenge events will battle it out in the Engen Champ of Champs later in the year to determine the overall national champions.

Engen is proud to be a part of the development of these young future football stars, further contributing to the realisation of their dream of being signed professionally.”

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