Former AmaZulu Youth Coach, Thabani “Fish” Zondo led first time participants, Durban FC to their first Engen Knockout championship after beating Toronto Blizzards 10-9 on penalties on Sunday at Moses Mabhida Stadium Outer Fields.
The much revered contest could not produce goals during open play but Zondo and his assistant, Xolani Mbatha kept their faith on their players to see off the Umlazi based Blizzards after the match ended 0-0.
“Maybe we were under dogs because most of our boys were playing for the first time in the tournament. The majority of the team, their age is still on their side in terms of coming back again for the next two years.”
“I’m very happy for this achievement and I think next year they will know what to expect. I’m also happy for my captain (Ntokozo Nzimande) for being awarded player of the tournament,” said Zondo.
The 32 year old KwaMashu born Coach was the understudy to the late Usuthu U17 Coach, Sandile Mncwango during AmaZulu’s back to back titles of 2007 and 2008.
Of the prospect of representing KZN at the regional playoffs he said: “The Champ of Champs will be good exposure for the boys but it will give us an opportunity to showcase KZN talent. We will need to prepare well going into the competition just like we’ve done.”
The un-fancied Toronto Blizzards had to dig deep to reach the final, and they did just that by managing a 2-0 upset against Young Cavaliers in the semi-final.
Durban FC overcame the defending champions, Umqhele High School in the semi-final 6-5 on penalties to book their place in the final.
Usuthu finished 5th on the final log standings after beating other favourites Royal Eagles 2-0.Share