Cliffview girls puts in a valiant effort at Discovery Knockout Cup

Khanyisile Tsum (10) of Fairsand and Ella Stacey of Cliffview try to win the ball during the intense game.

Cliffview Primary School’s U11 girl’s soccer team fought to the dying minutes of their semi-final match against Fairsand Primary School in the Discovery Knockout Cup.

The reigning champions had hoped to go all the way this year, but as coach Graham Hanly put it, the competition in the tournament was extremely competitive, and when you come against tough opposition, again and again, are bound to lose at some point.

READ: Cliffview girls gain glory

Fairsand was victorious 3–0 in the end, on 8 August, but it was a closely fought contest that did not reflect the scoreline.

Victoria Thorne takes the ball forward for Cliffview.

The victors were able to control possession for most of the game but Cliffview focused on quick and dangerous counter-attacks, which could have reversed the scoreline if luck went their way.

“The girls played very hard. They gave everything,” Hanly said afterwards. “Of course we are disappointed not to make the final but we played well. Now we will have to prepare again for next year.”

Stephoney Ayoka takes the ball down the side for Cliffview.

The competition at Sacred Heart College, Observatory, saw schools from across Joburg gather to test the mettle in their U9–U14 boys and girls soccer teams.

Aresenal Football Club academy coaches Rupen Shah and Moaz Awadelkarim also made the journey from the UK to bear witness to South Africa’s soccer talent and help with drills and skills training between games.

Khanyisile Tsum (10) of Fairsand and Melissa Martins of Cliffview vie for possession of the ball.

“The key values of Arsenal are attitude, respect, skill, energy, new thinking, all for one, and learning,” said Shah. “I have not seen one player pass through here who has not displayed these. It is all about them having fun and getting something out of the tournament.”

Humayra Sader of Cliffview restarts after a Fairsand goal.


Stephoney Ayoka carries the ball forward for Cliffview in their semi-final match.


The finals will be held on 15 August. In the U11 girls division, Fairsands will play against Lyndhurst Primary School.

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Nicholas Zaal
News Editor

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