Defending champions TUT has a bit of a hill to climb when they take on in-form UJ on Thursday in the 2023 Varsity Football final. They will have to do it in front of a wave of orange in the UJ Soweto Stadium. Kick-off is at 15:00.
The Pretoria-based team were on the road throughout the competition and that led to a topsy-turvy season that started with a draw, two victories and a loss in round 4. They followed it up with back-to-back wins and a draw against their semi-final opponents at the same venue they are heading to on Thursday. A nervy penalty shoot-out against UWC, the team who beat them earlier, saw the Red Army reach the last two for the seventh time.
While TUT conceded eight goals this season and only had two clean sheets, Ronald Mabaso, nominee for player of the tournament, scored seven of his team’s 16 goals.
Competing in their ninth tournament since 2013, the 2016, 2018 and 2022 champions will be keen to add another Varsity crown to their trophy cabinet.
Here’s a look at TUT’s participation in Varsity Football over the years:
2013 – Top of the log, lost 0-1 to Madibaz in the semi-final
2015 – Third on the log, lost 1-2 to UWC in the final
2016 – Top of the log, beat UJ 2-1 in the final
2017 – Top of the log, lost 0-2 to UP-Tuks in the final
2018 – Third on the log, beat Wits 2-1 in the final
2019 – Second on the log, lost 0-1 to NWU in the final
2021 – Fourth on the log, lost on penalties to UJ in the semi-final
2022 – Second on the log, beat UJ 2-1 in the final