Both sides have been promoted to the National First Division (NFD) and were contesting for the national championship.
Mbombela United walked away with gold medals, a trophy and a cheque of one million rand while Mthatha Bucks had to settle for silver medals and five-hundred-thousand rand cheque for their efforts.
But Isaac Nana restored parity in the 32nd minute going into the half time break.
The second stanza almost went all the way – and as everyone was preparing for a penalty shootout to decide the winner, Inky Masuku of Mbombela United struck a killer blow on the stroke of full time – breaking the hearts of the Mthatha Bucks players and bench.
The three minutes added by the referee seemed too long for Mbombela and too short for the Eastern Cape side.
The final whistle was met with great celebration by Mbombela while Mthatha Bucks side looked dejected as it ended 2-1.
“We have said before the final that our preparations went very well and this is the result. We were solid again today and played as a team. I am very happy with this achievement and will really set us up nicely as the NFD is starting in just a few weeks. I am proud of my players and the technical team for the sterling work they have done. I am even speechless,” said Sikhumbuzo Matsebula, Chairman of Mbombela United.
After five matches in the playoffs, United hasn’t lost drawing 1-all against Roses United.
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, accompanied by Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the Vice Chairperson of the Motsepe Foundation, were in attendance to hand over the prizes to the winners.
Meanwhile Moses Spandeel of Hungry Lions (Northern Cape) was presented with a trophy for scooping the Top Goal Scorer Award with six goals in the tournament. The awards ceremony for the tournament has been scheduled for Monday, 3 August where among others the Player of the Tournament will be announced.
Road to the Final:
Group Stages (Group A)
Glendene United 1-3 Mbombela United
Mbombela United 1-1 Roses United
Mbombela United 3-1 Milford FC
Mbombela United 3-2 African All Stars
Played W D Lost GF GA GD Pts
4 3 1 0 10 5 5 10
Mbombela United 2-1 Mthatha Bucks