With one round to go in the 2023 Men’s Varsity Football competition, teams are jostling for position and those coveted semi-final spots. UJ (1) and defending champions TUT (2) are sitting pretty at the top of the log while UWC (3) and VUT (4) make up the rest of the top four after favourable results in round 6.
UWC 1-0 NWU
In a highly anticipated matchup between NWU and UWC in the NWU Mafikeng Stadium fans were treated to an intense and tightly contested game of football, that the visitors finally won 1-0.
The game started at a high pace, with both NWU and UWC displaying their skills and determination. The first 10 minutes of the game saw no goals from either side, as both teams' defences held firm. As things progressed, the intensity on the field remained palpable. The subsequent 20 minutes saw both teams launch numerous attacks, but the goalkeepers and defenders were up to the challenge.
As the halftime whistle blew, the score was nil-all and both teams retreated to their respective locker rooms to regroup and strategize for the second half.
The second half of the match continued with the same level of intensity. Both NWU and UWC were eager to break the deadlock and secure a lead. And that moment came in the 70th minute when UWC managed to find the back of the net. It was an impressive goal with Leandro De Sousa who will be remembered for his incredible long shot from the right wing.
NWU responded with determination, pushing forward in search of an equaliser. However, UWC's defence held strong, denying NWU any clear-cut chances.
Scorers: UWC – Leandro De Sousa
FNB Player of the Match: Shuaib Martin (UWC)
UWC: Leathan Croats, Craig Joemath, Siyabulela Mcimeli, Khanya Alex Dyani, Damian Overmeyer, Shuaib Martin, Riyaaz Koopstadt, Relebohile Matima, Juanito Ronaldo Manuel, Jadan Zeeman, Lutando Mpokotya.
NWU: Kamogelo Matane, Aphelele Sibisi, Heaven Sereetsi, Kananelo Motsoeneng, Khopotso Moshapo, Reatlegile Kgosithebe, Oatlhotse Ditlhobolo, Lesiba Mahlong, Lucas Seromo, Lesego Motsepe, Pascual Tivane.
VUT 1-0 CUT
VUT kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 1-0 win over CUT at the CUT Stadium. The team from the Vaal will feel that it was mission accomplished after claiming a season double in Bloemfontein following their win over UFS earlier in the competition.
The visitors were on the board as soon as the 6th minute with Lucky Raphala finding the back of the net following a break down the right flank, but it has to be said that the goalkeeping of Motlalentwa Mbolekwa was sloppy. This did prove to be the match-winning goal.
CUT had more than their fair share of chances to score in the opening stanza, but a lack of execution saw them trailing 1-0 at the break.
The home team were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when the winger, Oratile Mothibedi, was taken out in the penalty area by the VUT goalkeeper, Thabiso Moeketsi, while the latter was perhaps lucky not to be issued with a red card.
CUT continued to create chances in the second half, but it was a case of panic stations when they got into a position to score.
Scorers: VUT – Lucky Raphala
FNB Player of the Match: Kgotso Nhlapo (VUT)
VUT: Thabiso Simon Moeketsi, Kgotso Nhlapo, Medupi Thokolo, Perseverance Mashabane, Simamkele Masiza, Sizwe Sibeko, Siyabonga Nombewu, Lucky Raphala, Ntokozo Mgidi, Jabulane Koketso Mazibuko, Kgahlisho Kgomoeswana.
CUT: Motlalentwa Jacob Mbolekwa, Lefa Matlase, Simo Ndlovu, Khotso Mphene, Tumelo Mothabeng, Mpho Bartman, Pogisho Dikole, Malefetsane Matale, Lehlohonolo Nkaekae, Oratile Mothibedi, Pule Macdonald Thekiso.
TUT 3-0 UFH
Defending champions TUT travelled to the Eastern Cape to beat UFH 3-0 at the Davidson Stadium.
Both teams played aggressively in the opening minutes of the game, with TUT pressuring UFH high and forcing them to play on the half-field. After nine minutes, TUT finally got on the board thanks to a superb counter press that found Lindokuhle Motsamai, who outmuscled his opponent and scored. TUT scored their second goal as a result of UFH's poor marking when Thuso Mlamla hit a massive shot outside the 18 area and found the back of the net.
TUT began the second half with the same momentum as the first. UFH made some substitutions to help them on the attack but TUT's tenacious defence was switched on. TUT earned a penalty after a foul by Someleze Kapteni and Tebogo Lekaba, the captain of TUT, showed excellent leadership by converting.
A devastating head collision occurred in the final 90th minute between UFH captain Bonke Nxiwa and Freddy Mahloane, resulting in forced substitutions for both teams. TUT won the game by 3-0 and credit must be given to their well-executed tactical approach.
Scorers: TUT – Lindokuhle Thumelo Motsamai, Thuso Mlamla, Tebogo Lekaba
FNB Player of the Match: Thuso Mlamla (TUT)
TUT: Luyanda Mandindi, Alan Moja, Ndumiso Kubheka, Tebogo Lekaba, Mekdiwe Bongani Ncenya, Anda Yamile, Freddy Mahloana, Thuso Mlamla, Ronald Mabaso, Tshiamo Mahome, Lindokuhle Tumelo Motsamai.
UFH: Nkosiyethu Ngobe, Athenkosi Masiza, Bonke Nxiwa, Mbeko Bungane, Snethemba Sibeko, Someleze Kapteni, Chuma Mhlonyane, Sihle Mathumbu, Athenkosi Dobe, Sinobom Kapase, Samkelo Tshazi.
UJ 3-0 UFS
UJ showed no mercy as they thrashed UFS 3-0 at the UJ Soweto Stadium.
The home side got the ball rolling after the referee blew the kick-off whistle. Forward Siphosihle Nkambule missed a one-on-one goal in the first few minutes of the game and then it was Sanele Ndlalane who broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute. Although UFS tried to join the party, the Orange Army continued dominating the game.
UJ doubled their lead in the 39th minute as Malik Mashinini crossed the ball into the box, but it found its way into the net through some messy defending.
UFS came into the second 45 minutes a revived side, applying pressure on the UJ defenders but failed to convert their chances. Player of the match Advocate Mokwena, who had a brilliant outing, got on the scoreboard thanks to an assist by Nkambule, and UJ walked away with a 3-0 victory.
Scorers: UJ – Sanele Ndlalane, Malik Mashinini, Advocate Mokwena
FNB Player of the Match: Advocate Mokwena (UJ)
UJ: Lona Richard Banga, Maselesele Makoti, Thabo Moshikere, Karabo Modisane, Thanda Madiba, Advocate Mokwena, Tumelo Molubi, Malik Mashinini, Sanele Ndlalane, Mongezi Mncube, Siphosihle Nkambule
UFS: Tisetso Seodinyane, Iviwe Dyabuza, Obakeng Seekoei, Sandile Mhlanga, Thandolwethu Khoza, Lizwi Kunene, Ethan Goldstone, Reatlehile Meya, Arlonso Diedricks, Jermein Marou, Boy Rantsoti.