Even though UJ finished at the top of the log after a stellar season, the Orange Army still has a score to settle with defending champions TUT when the 2023 Varsity Football final takes place on Thursday at the UJ Soweto Stadium. Kick-off is at 15:00.
UJ started this year’s tournament with two draws but then kicked into high gear to collect four victories on the trot. They drew 0-0 against TUT in the last round-robin match before beating NWU on penalties in the semi-final.
The Orange Army’s strikers were in top form, scoring ten goals with Sanele Ndlalane and Siphosihle Nkambule finding the back of the net six times between the two of them. The defensive effort was just as impressive, with only two goals conceded and six clean sheets.
Competing in their eighth tournament since 2013, the 2021 champions will be keen to add another Varsity crown to their trophy cabinet. Their rivalry against the Red Army for top honours stretches back to 2016 when they lost 1-2 to TUT in the final. The same fate befell them last year in the final match of the 2022 tournament.
Here’s a look at UJ’s participation in Varsity Football over the years:
2014 - Top of the log, lost 0-1 to UP-Tuks in the final
2016 – Third on the log, lost 1-2 to TUT in final
2017 – Sixth on the log
2018 – Top of the log, lost against Wits on penalties in the semi-final
2019 – Sixth on the log
2021 – Top of the log, beat UFS-Kovsies 4-1 in the final
2022 – Top of the log, lost 1-2 against TUT in the final