Stones FC win Informal Settlements’ Cup

WINDHOEK: Groot-Aub’s Stones Football Club (FC) won the inaugural Khomas Regional Informal Settlements’ Football Cup here on Sunday.

The knock-out tournament was contested by 12 teams from informal settlements around Windhoek and Groot Aub, and was sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture.

These teams play in already-structured leagues in their respective areas.

The tournament was played at the John ya Otto Stadium in Wanaheda on Saturday and Sunday.

In the build-up to the finals, Stones FC beat Okaluii Swallows on penalties after a goalless draw in the semi-finals; while another Groot Aub team, Groot Aub Central FC defeated Havana City 2-1 to qualify for the final.

In an all-Groot Aub final, Stones FC opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the game through Kevin Gowaseb.

However, Elrico Eiseb of Groot Aub Central equalised in the 25th minute, and then doubled the score in the 28th minute.

Wesley Adam of Stones FC scored an equaliser for his side in the 33rd minute to take the half-time score to 2-2.

In the second half, Groot Aub Central took the lead through substitute Angula Kinda, but Stones managed to equalise in the dying minutes of the game when Ashley Pieter tapped in a cross from Cavin Fries for the game to end 3-3.

In the penalty shoot-out, Stones FC converted four of their penalties, while Grout Aub Central only scored two of their four spot-kicks.

Speaking to Nampa after the game, Stones FC team manager John Kamure said the tournament is a good platform for young players to showcase their talents, and he was pleased that his side were the first winners of the event.

“It is really an honour to compete with Windhoek-based teams, and being victorious shows that there is also talent outside of Windhoek.

These young boys are all eager to make their mark, even in the national Under-17 or U-20 set-up,” beamed Kamure.

He added that his team will use their cash prize of N.dollars 7 000 to buy new kits and boots.

Some of the money will also go towards the team’s planned trip to the Erongo Region, where they will participate in another tournament later this year.

Meanwhile, the ministry sponsored N.dollars 15 000 towards the tournament.

Besides the cash prize, Stones FC also walked away with gold medals.

Runners-up Groot Aub Central won N.dollars 4 000 and silver medals; while third-placed Windhoek-based Okaruii Swallows won N.dollars 3 000 and bronze medals.

Okaruii Swallows defeated Havana City by 1-0 in a third-place play-off match.

It is anticipated that the competition will become an annual event.

Kamure said he hopes that the tournament will be expanded to the rest of the country as a lot of raw talent could be discovered in remote areas.