Wits only SA side in semis of U17 Future Champions Tournament

BidVest Wits will be the only local representatives in the semi-finals of the 2018 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament after topping their pool with a late victory over Italian side AC Reggiana on Wednesday.

They will now face a semi-final clash with Dutch side ADO Den Haag on Friday, while the other Last 4 fixture sees Belgian outfit Club Brugge take on FC Spartak from Russia.

The four sides topped their first round pools on Wednesday as the group stages were complete with yet more thrilling football.

Wits secured their place with a deserved success as Ben Melamdowitz netted a late one for them.

They beat RCD Espanyol into second place in Group D despite the Spanish side claiming a 2-1 success over local favourites Orlando Pirates FC.

Oscar and Adria netted for the Spaniards, while Marx Hakeem grabbed what proved a consolation for the Young Buccaneers.

RCD Espanyol will now face Zambian side Nkana FC in their play-off game in two days' time after they claimed a thrilling 3-2 success over Mamelodi Sundowns.

In a match that swung one way and then the other, Nelson Kaula, Mubanga Mulenga and Isaac Zulu were on target for the Zambians, while Thato Matli and Cassius Mailula netted for the local side.

ADO Den Haag claimed their semi-final place with a 3-1 win over Highlands Park, including a third goal of the competition for Lorenzo van Kleef, who moves to the top of the scorers chart.

Timo de Vreede and Rini van der Walt were also on target for the Netherlands side, while Eric Tivane grabbed the goal for Highlands Park.

Club Brugge stayed on course for the trophy as they beat Jomo Cosmos 1-0 with Gabriel Lemoine getting the only goal of the game, while FC Spartak secured their semi-final spot with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Namibian side Black Africa Hopsol.

Pavel Kosongov (two), Ilya Predeys, Nikita Iosifov and Nikita Morgynov netted for the Russians.

In the other play-off matches on Friday, Cosmos take on Black Africa Hopsol, there is a local derby as Highlands Park meet Orlando Pirates FC and Mamelodi Sundowns clash with AC Reggiana.

Entrance to all matches are FREE to the general public, while there will also be the final of the women's competition as SAFA Johannesburg tackle SAFA Tshwane.

The teams will have the day off on Thursday and will take in the sights and sounds of Gauteng on a cultural tour.

The Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament is organised by Global Sports International in conjunction with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, the Gauteng Department of Education and SAFA.

This year's competition will also be supported by Sedgars Sport, Clinix, LaLiga, Gauteng Coaches and the City of Joburg.

Source: South African Football Association

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