Mpopoma High School achieved a clean sweep at the Copa Coca-Cola football Bulawayo finals with their boys as well as girls teams being crowned provincial champions at Gifford last Friday, which earned them the right to represent Bulawayo at next month’s national competition to be held in Zvishavane.
In a round robin format which saw all the teams play five matches each on the day, the Mpopoma teams won all their encounters to finish with 15 points. While for the Babson Ngwenya-coached boys, it was a return to the national finals where they last appeared in 2015, for the Sinqobile Sibanda-mentored girls, it meant a successful title defence.
In second place were Sobukhazi, St Bernard’s were third, last year’s winners Lobengula could only manage fourth place, Gifford took the fifth spot while Christian Brothers College were sixth.
For the girls, Sobukhazi were the runners up, followed by Townsend, Magwegwe, Tennyson and Pumula.
Mpopoma dominated when it came to individual accolades for both boys and girls. Right link, Tendai Muvuti of Mpopoma won the boys’ Player of the Tournament, his teammate Romeo Zowa took the Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Ngwenya walked away with the Coach of the Tournament prize while Malvin Sibanda of Sobukhazi bagged the Top Goal scorer prize.
For the girls, Nicole Tshuma of Townsend was adjudged as the Player of the Tournament, Mpopoma’s Thandiwe Msipha took the Goalkeeper of the Tournament prize, her teammate Nosipho Dube bagged the Top Goal scorer accolade while Sibanda took away the Coach of the Tournament award.
An excited Mpopoma sports director James Rugwevera attributed his teams’ success in the tournament to a lot of hard work that was put in, which saw training sessions being held even on weekends and when schools were closed.
“I am very happy but it did not come as a surprise because we were actually preparing for it, we were well prepared. We have been training, sometimes during weekends and the holidays, so no surprise,” Rugwevera.
On how they will prepare for the national finals, Rugwevera said their girls will play against Under-20s from other schools while the boys will take on Under-17 opponents.
According to the draw for the national finals scheduled for 12 to 14 July conducted at the launch of Copa Coca-Cola in May, the Mpopoma boys will face Midlands champions Guinea Fowl and Somvubu of Matabeleland North. The Mpopoma girls will take on Vainona and Masvingo provincial winners.