Orapa United’s historic Mascom Top 8 upset will be on the lips of football followers for a long time to come. The mining team was on Thursday officially title honoured and given individual awards during the Mascom Top 8 awards ceremony. ‘The Ostriches’ etched their name in football history when they beat the high flying Township Rollers 3 ÔÇô 1 to be crowned this season’s Top 8 champions.
‘The Ostriches’ were on song and dominated the entire tournament. This was reflected in their individual medal haul at the award ceremony. Aside from their title, which was accompanied by a whooping P1 200 000, the Ostriches also bagged three individual awards, being the top goal scorer, coach of the tournament and goal keeper of the tournament. the team’s goal minder, Mosimanegape Robert, walked away P25 000 richer after winning the goal keeper of the tournament award, dubbed safe hands of the tournament, while the team’s gaffer, Madinda Ndlovu, who guided the team through its maiden appearance in the tournament, eventually winning it on their debut participation, was voted coach of the tournament. Ndlovu was rewarded with a P25 000 cheque for his efforts. Orapa United’s third individual award went to Ronald Chikomo, who together with Maano Ditshupo of Township Rollers shared the top goal scorer award. Both players netted four goals each from the five matches they played. The duo shared P30 000 top goal scorer prize money, each walking away with P15 000 as well a golden boot award each.
The only big award of the night that eluded ‘The Ostriches’ was the player of the tournament award, which went to Rollers’ skipper, Maano Ditshupo, who played a crucial role to help Rollers reach the finals. “I am happy to have won the player of the tournament award. It is a big achievement and signs that my efforts are recognized. I would like to thank my teammates, it was a collective effort though the prize is awarded to an individual,” the player acknowledged. Maano said the award will motivate him to work harder and hopefully more will come his way. Player of the tournament award came with P50 000 prize tag.
Maano says he will continue working hard as he dreams of one day playing outside the country in a more professional set up. “It is every player’s dream to play outside the country and if we continue to work hard may be one day one will be honored to represent the country on the international stage” Maano said. The versatile player encouraged his team mates to continue working hard as a team and individually. Mogogi Gobonwamong, Noah Maposa and Kabelo Dambe are some of the players whose talents are recognized in neighboring South Africa’s football.
Betsho Pius’ goal against Township Rollers was recognized as goal of the tournament. Pius goal attracted P10 000 prize tag. Rollers popular attacking midfielder Segolame Boy was chosen player of the tournament by supporters and went home P10 000 richer. Tirelo Mositwane and Mogomotsi Morakile won the referee and assistant referee of the tournament respectively.
The prestigious Mascom Top 8 tournament was hailed a success by football leaders and sponsors.