In a repeat of last year’s final, it is defending champions TUT and UJ again for the 2023 Men’s Varsity Football title on Thursday 28 September in Soweto.
In the first semi-final, UJ survived a tense affair against NWU and had to rely on a penalty shoot-out to advance to their third successive final.
TUT prevailed over UWC in the second semi-final which was also decided by a penalty shoot-out.
UJ 0-0 NWU (UJ 6-5 on penalties)
In a jam-packed UJ Soweto Stadium, UJ beat NWU 6-5 on penalties to secure their spot in the final. The match ended on nil-all after regular time. The Orange Army was the champion in 2021 and lost last year’s final against TUT.
The first half wasn’t one of the most exciting for the spectators despite a handful of chances. Both the Orange Army and the Eagles had a tactical approach to the game and it lasted for the full first 45 minutes.
UJ was a different team in the second half with forward Siphosihle Nkambule missing two chances that could have given the Orange Army the lead and a possible out-right victory.
UJ kept creating chances, but the NWU goalkeeper Kamogelo Matane made a couple of great saves to keep things level. He deserved his Player of the Match award.
"We started the game off very slow which was not in our game plan. We knew that NWU would come at us as it was our second game playing them, but we are glad that we didn't concede in both our clashes against them," said UJ skipper Makoti Maselesele.
Player of the match: Kamogelo Matane (NWU)
UJ: Lona Richard Banga, Maselesele Makoti, Thabo Moshikere, Karabo Modisane, Thanda Madiba, Advocate Mokwena, Tumelo Molubi, Mongezi Mncube, Malik Mashinini, Sanele Ndlalane, Siphosihle Nkambule
NWU: Kamogelo Matane, Heaven Sereetsi, Kananelo Motsoeneng, Khopotso Moshapo, Lesego Motsepe, Lesiba Mahlong, Lucas Seromo, Pascual Tivane, Reatlegile Kgosithebe, Thabang Majoro, Aphelele Sibisi.
TUT 2-2 UWC (TUT 10-9 on penalties)
Defending champions TUT won a thrilling clash against UWC at the UWC Sports Stadium 10-9 on penalties after the match ended 2-2 during the 90 minutes of play.
In the first 15 minutes of the match, UWC had two goal-scoring chances, but Leandro de Sousa could not make something out of it as the score remained nil-all.At the 31-minute mark, the visitors broke the deadlock with a 25-metre volley from Ronald Mabaso and TUT went ahead 1-0. De Sousa found the back of the net 13 minutes later and UWC levelled matters 1-1 at the half-time break.
The second half started o
n a dramatic note as UWC were reduced to 10 men following Shuaib Martin’s red card after a terrible tackle. TUT didn’t waste any time to take advantage to go ahead 2-1 courtesy of a Tshiamo Mahome strike. The home side equalised through
The game continued at a high tempo with the wind inside the stadium dictating the fate of the two sides. The match ended 2-2 and in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, TUT came out on top.
Scorers: TUT – Ronald Mabaso, Tshiamo Mahome
UWC – Leandro de Sousa, Lutando Mpokotya
Player of the match: Craig Joemath (UWC)
UWC: Leathan Croats Jadan Zeeman, Craig Joemath, Damian Overmeyer, Siyabulela Mcimeli, Riyaaz Koopstadt, Khanya Alex Dyani, Leandro De Sousa, Relebohile Matima, Lutando Mpokotya, Shuaib Martin.
TUT: Luyanda Mandindi, Alan Moja, Freddy Mahloana, Mekdiwe Bongani Ncenya , Ndumiso Kubheka, Tebogo Lekaba, Anda Yamile, Tshiamo Mahome, Thuso Mlamla, Lindokuhle Tumelo Motsamai, Ronald Mabaso.