Gauteng sides dominate Premier Cup

Grassy Park United celebrate the winning goal in their group stage match against University of Pretoria. The game finished 2-1.

pictures: buntu gotywa

But they were unfortunate to come up against one of the best sides in this year’s tournament in the last 16.

The tournament was played at Erica Park in Belhar over the Easter weekend.

Grassy Park blessed with a host of exciting youngsters who are not shy to take on any challenge coming their way.

Grassy Park would have expected to go further in the competition and got an early set back when they lost their opening encounter against Greenwood Athletic.

They would have backed themselves to get one over Greenwood but it wasn’t to be as they lost 1-0.

Losing the opening game of a tournament is a major set back as it puts the team under pressure to reverse the results in any way possible in the next encounter.

In their second match in the round robin stage, they came up against University of Pretoria, knowing very well that anything other three points would be bad news in their quest for the knock-out stages.

They showed character and resilience against the Tshwane side and were in control of the encounter for the better part of the game.

They eventually emerged as 2-1 victors and found themselves back in contention for the last 16.

They sealed that last 16 spot with a convincing 3-1 win against Bayview in their last encounter.

Finishing their group with six points and with their morale at an all-time high, having bounced back from the first game defeat, Grassy Park posed a big threat to their last 16 opponents, Highlands Park.

Even though they backed themselves to get one over the Johannesburg side, it was always a tough task as Highlands Park proved to be one of the best sides in this year’s competition.

They lost their last 16 fixture against Highlands Park 2-0. Highlands Park would go on to face Mamelodi Sundowns in the final.

Highlands Park were again in their best form as they went all the way to extra time against Mamelodi Sundowns in the final.

Highlands Park won this year’s trophy with a 4-2 victory in the penalty shootout.

Despite having and all Gauteng affair in the semi-finals, the Cape Town crowd were not disappointed by the level of football on display in the competition.

This year’s competition, in its, 30 year, saw 32 teams from across South Africa, and beyond, battling it out over six days.

The 2016 and 2017 champions Supersport United looked as organised as ever.

It was clear from the outset that they came here to defend their title.

They fought their way to the semi-final, before losing to Tshwane rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0.

That was the end of their run in this year’s tournament, and Sundowns booked their spot in the final, against Highlands Park who beat another Tshwane side, University of Pretoria, in their semi-final. PPG Langa were crowned Plate Section winners after beating debutants Silver Spurs 1-0 in the final.

OnThursdayafternoon, co-founder of the tournament, Roger Clayton said since 1989, it has been the football that brought together the talented youngsters, hard working organisers and the passionate supporters of local football.

Co-founder of the tournament, PJ Williams congratulated all the teams that took part in the competition saying he looks forward to what ought to be another successful endeavor in 2020’s meeting at Erica Park sports field, in Belhar.