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UJ dethrone UWC in Women’s Varsity Football tournament

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

It was the third-successive Women’s Varsity Football final that went into penalties, with tournament hosts UJ winning their second title after dethroning defending champions UWC.

UWC entered the game unchanged, while UJ brought Nathi Njokweni for Sthembile Vesta Sandleni. UWC played in their sixth final, having won just one, while UJ were in their third final and won their second after lifting the trophy for the first time in 2013. The game was more of a stop-start affair in the opening 25 minutes, which were disrupted by small fouls and rushed opportunities. It remained low on highlights with both side’s attempting to score from longe-range free-kicks without really testing either goalkeeper, while Thubelihle Shamase saw a shot of hers fly over the bar. The final went into half-time without a goal, as neither side managed to break down the opposition's defence. The second half was more of the same, as both teams showed a lack of freshness, with the final being their fifth game in the last six days. Lindokuhle Gladlile almost broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, but her shot from outside only clipped the crossbar for UWC. Boitumelo Rasehlo had a late chance to win it for UJ but she couldn’t get enough power behind her header from close range. As the two side’s couldn’t be separated inside 90 minutes, UWC coach Thinasonke Mbuli rolled the dice again before the penalty shootout, substituting goalkeeper Siphesihle Dlamini for semi-final hero Kay-Dee Windvogel, who had saved two spot-kicks in the shootout win against Tuks. But it was UJ goalkeeper Elizabeth Mazivise who saved the first UWC penalty by Zikhona Nogqala. Mazivise even stepped up to score her side’s fourth penalty as they beat UWC 5-3 in the shootout to lift their second Women’s Varsity Football trophy - leading to wild celebrations of champion coach Nthabeleng Modiko and her team. Result: UJ 0-0 (5-3) UWC

Scorers: none Woman of the Match: Boitumelo Rasehlo (UJ) Line-ups: UJ: Mazivise, Lefa, Rasehlo, Mokoena, Thubelihle Shamase, Maseko, Sphumelele Shamase, Munasi, Moosa, Macomo, Njokweni UWC: Dlamini, Gamede, Gladile, Nogqala, Simayile, Motau, Mngxunya, Matsotsi, Galant, Senanya, Magama  Player of the Tournament: Sphumelele Shamase (UJ)

Top goalscorer of the Tournament: Sphumelele Shamase (UJ) - 7 goals

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