Excitement Reigns as 2024 Pirates Cup Kicks Off

The start of the 2024 Pirates Cup produced an exhilirating spectacle filled with surprises when the competition got underway at Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia.

The latest edition of the annual tournament where talent meets opportunity kicked off on Thursday, with a total of 24 men’s and women’s teams taking to the field on the opening day.

The ladies’ tournament served up a goal-fest, with Group A producing 30 of the 41 goals scored across the two groups as TS Galaxy Queens and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies ended the day tied at the top with seven points apiece, with both sides finishing with a goal difference of 11. The Mpumalanga-based outfit breezed past Teltonika Amahle with a 7-1 scoreline in their opening game before playing to a stalemate against their Tshwane counterparts.

They registered another convincing result in their final group game, beating Future Stars Ladies 6-1. Sundowns Ladies meanwhile kicked things off with a 3-0 victory over Future Stars before their draw with the Rockets and were runaway winners in their match-up with Amahle, which finished with an 8-0 scoreline.

Group B fixtures were more tightly contested as Wits University Ladies finished at the summit after wins against defending champions University of Johannesburg and JVW, with the latter finishing in second place to advance to the semifinals.

Tournament hosts Orlando Pirates Under-21s had a complicated path to the next round in the men’s tournament, finishing in second place in Group A with five points after securing a 1-0 win against Mswenko Family, alongside draws in their games against Young Boys and Diepkloof Diplomats.

Teltonika Amahle’s free-scoring exploits in Group C were the cause of much excitement as they found the net an astonishing 18 times without conceding in their three games. The bulk of the goals games came in a 14-0 crushing of Atlegang Sports, who finished bottom of the group, while Meadowlands Academy took second spot after clinching six points.

SuperSport United were the standout performers in Group B, registering three wins in three to advance to the knockouts. Group D was meanwhile headed up by the The Citizens, who managed to scrape through despite the challenge posed by FC Milan and Dube Continental, who both had realistic prospects of advancing to the next round ahead of the last group fixtures held on the day.

The action continues on Friday with 24 more men’s teams taking centres from Group E to J taking centre stage, with the first fixtures kicking off at 9:00.

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