Twenty (20) Under-21 women’s football teams put up a fierce battle for top honours in the 2023 Pirates Cup at Marks Park in Emmarentia as South Africa commemorated Human Rights Day on Tuesday, 21 March 2023. After impressive wins against JVC (6-2), Wits University (6-0) and United Ladies (4-0), Coach Nthabeleng Modiko’s University of Johannesburg (UJ) U21 ladies team won a silver medal in the competition after a 2-1 defeat by the University of Pretoria (Tuks Women) in the final.
The tournament games followed shortly after the UJ Football- SABC Sport football coaching clinics took place at the UJ Orban in Melville, where former Premier Soccer League stars taught kids under the age of 12 years some footballing skills.
Speaking on her team’s performances, Head Coach Nthabeleng “Dunga” Modiko said, “I don’t think there’s anything they did wrong, they put their best foot forward and they showed character. The girls have trained and played league matches together. They have given us good performances today. Going forward, we need to learn scoring crucial goals against tough competitors in cup games.”
After scoring 7 goals throughout the competition, UJ Ladies’ striker Victoria Biatholi was named the Golden Boot winner. She scored an opening goal for UJ in the 45th minute against Tuks Ladies.
Coach Modiko said the UJ U21 team went into the tournament with the aim to win the trophy. “The tournament gave us a true reflection of where we are as a team and I am really proud of everybody. We also used it to check a lot of the combinations of players – some of the players came from the UJ Internal League, others from the second team, with a mix of the Hollywoodbets Super League players. We are preparing for the upcoming University competitions,” she said.
In addition to 28 student football teams that play in the Internal UJ Residence Football League, the UJ Football Club has teams that are registered with SAFA Football Leagues.