Fredy Montero of Sporting Lisbon during the 2015 Cape Town Cup Final between Sporting Lisbon and Crystal Palace at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 26 July 2015 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Monday Jul 27, 2015. 11:13
We pick five players who stood out at the inaugural Cape Town Cup, which was won by Sporting Clube de Portugal. Crystal Palace were runners-up, while hosts Ajax Cape Town and fellow South African side SuperSport United shared third place.
SEE: All the Cape Town Cup matches and results
Where else to start but with the man who scored two goals in the final to see Sporting win the Cape Town Cup. Fredy Montero scored in the 71st and 86th minutes after coming off the bench to replace Andre Carrillo. The Colombian has been linked with a move back to the MLS, but his CTC heroics may see him remain in favour at the Portuguese giants.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s saves were just as influential in Sporting’s success as Montero’s goals, and the 27-year-old proved once again why he is such a hero for the Portuguese giants. He made some vital stops in the semifinal against Ajax and followed it up with further brilliant saves in the final against Crystal Palace, denying the likes of , Jordon Mutch, James McArthur and Scott Dann from chances that could have changed the course of the game.
After making a quicker-than-expected recovery from an injury that threatened to exclude him from the Cape Town Cup, Ajax Cape Town midfielder Travis Graham made substitute appearances in both the semifinal and third-place playoff. He impressed in both cameo roles and even scored a late equaliser in the latter match to see the Urban Warriors share the bronze medals with SuperSport United.
SuperSport United’s Thuso Phala wore the armband for the first time in the Cape Town Cup, having been named as the team’s captain by coach Gordon Igesund. Though he and his teammates had a match to forget in their 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the semifinal, they were much improved in the third-place playoff against Ajax. Phala’s goal against the Urban Warriors almost earned them a win, but Travis Graham popped up with a late equaliser.
Jordon Mutch was not spoken of as one of Crystal Palace’s game-breakers heading into the Cape Town Cup, but his performances in the tournament certainly caught the eye. The 23-year-old midfielder scored a fine goal in the Eagles’ easy win over SuperSport in the semifinals, and very nearly opened the scoring early on in the final against Sporting, only being denied by a fine save from Rui Patricio.