Bafanas Football team are the champions of the 4th Motang Tlou Soccer Challenge held in Goodhope last month. Bafanas defeated Young Bucks 2-1 in a thrilling encounter that pulled a huge crowd from all corners of Barolong Farms.
For their efforts, Bafanas managed to pocket P7, 500 and a floating trophy.
This week the event organisers said the annual tournament lived to its real promise and started in earnest on the 26th December 2018, adding to the norm and known traditional choirs associated with festivities in Barolong. The eight teams that competed in the festive tournament included Flying Squad-Goodhope, Dangerous Darkies-Pitsane, Mmutlanyana Iphare- Ramatlabama, YoungBucks-Cwaanyaneng, Gamokoto Young Zebras-Gamokoto, Tswagare United-Tswagare, Maranatha Kicks-Pitsane, Bafanas- Ramatlabama in the same order. The organisers emphasize that the aim of the tourney is to give people a variety of entertainment during the festive season as well as showcase the talent that exists in the region. This was a different kind of tournament as it used technology platforms in its marketing and publicity.
The SMS campaign was an exciting initiative which received well over 23,000 votes for its maiden entry with over 40 teams participating across the length and breadth of Barolong Farms. Facebook was the ultimate tool used for regular and timely updates about the tournament. Top of the pack was a team from Goodhope, Flying Squad which beat Dangerous Darkies from Pitsane by 19 votes on the last day of voting. Dangerous Darkies had led the votes for long periods until the last date. Flying Squad did not come as a surprise to some as they were still the 2016 defending champions and wanted to show who the real kings of the soccer challenge were and the only host team from Good hope.
The tournament was community involving as some teams went to the extent of asking old people to vote for them with their last ten pula. It was not surprising to realise what it meant for some to have made it to the top 8. To make the event colorful and fun, Young Bucks, Mmutlanyana Iphare and Bafanas brought in their supporters with their choirs. Mmutlanyana went a step further with a composition of a song in appreciation of the tournament sponsor “A ruri leboleletse Motang ka setlhopha, go re Mmutla o a betsa, go utlwala” Mmutlanyane Iphare from Ramatlabama were the fans favourite from the onset, perhaps due to their unique name. The name resonated well with the old folks as it was one of the most feared back in the days, especially when pitted against the likes of Young Stars of Ramatlabama.
The very first game ended in a thrashing of Flying Squad by Young Bucks 4-0. Flying Squad was distraught after the humiliating defeat but admitted to have met a well prepared and determined side. The other games were more balanced with cautious approach from the teams after watching the first game which was more open with a lot of goals. Gamokoto Young Zebras was defeated 1-0 by Tswagare United in the second game. The third game Mmutlanyana Iphare played to a goalless draw with Dangerous Darkies but Mmutlanyana proceeded to win 4-3 on penalties.
The last game of the day, Bafanas won 1-0 beating Maranatha Kicks. The first semifinal was played the following day and pitted Young Bucks against Tswagare United in a rain-soaked match; the game was suspended for a few hours before it was resumed only for Young Bucks to win it 2-0. The second semifinal was moved to the next day between Mmutlanyana Iphare and Bafanas, which ended in a goalless draw and Bafanas went on to win 5-4 on penalties. The final game brought Goodhope to a standstill. It lived to its expectation as supporters were treated to scintillating football where two teams went for each other in an entertaining encounter. The book makers could not tell where the game was going as both team played attacking football, exercising caution and high defensive discipline.
The award ceremony included the Chief representative of Barolong Botiki Motshegare and Minister of Minerals Resource, Green Technology and Energy Security, Eric Molale as guests. The Chief Organiser, Kennedy Motang was more than elated with a well-organized event. He promised a bigger and better tournament for 2019 to celebrate the tournament’s 5th anniversary. Motang assured a significant improvement in the prize money for this year’s event. “People were already enquiring about when the voting lines for the 5th edition even before the ball was kicked for the 4th edition, this is the level of interest that has been created around the tournament,” Motang said.