Copa Coca Cola gain momentum

HARARE - The 25th edition of the Coapa Coca Cola Under-17 football fiesta shifts into a higher gear this weekend with provincial finals that will play out across the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.

Defending champions Mzingwane High School have a bye in the provincial finals and now wait to see which winners from Mashonaland West and the Midlands province will complete the group.

The provincial winners in Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Bulawayo will make up Group B.

Sakubva High School, by virtue of being hosts, have secured their place in Group C and results from this weekend will determine which representatives will join them from Masvingo and Mashonaland East.

Group D will see Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central and Harare battling for a place in the quarter-finals.

The national finals have been set for July 26 to 28 in the eastern border town of Mutare.

The girls’ Under-17 Copa Coca-Cola tournament is in its third edition, with Harare’s Vainona High School having scooped top honours in the last two editions.

By the end of this weekend, Group A will be composed of defending champions Vainona, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South winners whilst Group B will be made up of representatives from Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland West.

Group C will be made up of Harare, Mashonaland West and Bulawayo champions whilst Manicaland, Mashonaland Central and Masvingo provincial winners fight it out in Group D.

The highly-acclaimed grassroots football development programme running under the theme “Crazy for Good”, will see tournament winners pocketing $6 500, runner ups $5 500, second runner-ups $3 500.

The eight teams who progress to the quarter-finals will walk away with $1 200 each.

Individual accolades will also be up for grabs for best defender, best midfielder, top goal-scorer, best goalkeeper, player of the tournament, best coach and fair play.

Apart from the accolades, bragging rights will also be up for grabs for the over 2 000 schools that will battle for honours in this prestigious tournament.

In the history of Copa Coca-Cola tournament, Harare province has won it nine times, followed by Masvingo with seven titles.

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