UJ will take on NWU in Johannesburg and UWC will take on defending champions TUT in Cape Town next Thursday (14 September) in the semi-finals of the 2023 Men’s Varsity Football competition.
In the last round-robin matches, the Orange Army beat TUT, UWC claimed victory over VUT, NWU got one over UFH and UFS beat CUT.
UJ 1-1 TUT
In the battle of the log leaders, UJ and defending champions TUT played to a thrilling 1-1 draw at the UJ Soweto Stadium.
The game started very well with both teams playing a great match of football, there was nice ball rotation and a well-managed tempo. The first 20 minutes were equally balanced as they were trying to find their feet.
The Orange Army made a forced substitution 22 minutes into the game after captain Makoti Maselesele picked up a head injury following a collision with Tshiamo Mahome in the middle of the park.
The home side got an opening goal in the 46th minute, courtesy of Mongezi Mncube who scored after combining well with Malik Mashinini who walked away with an assist. TUT’s Tshiamo Mahome levelled proceedings in the 75th minute minutes when he scored a cracker just outside the 18-yard area.
The result of the match was that both teams progressed to the semi-finals.
Scorers: UJ – Mongezi Mncube
TUT – Tshiamo Mahome
FNB Player of the Match: Lona Richard Banga (UJ)
UJ: Lona Richard Banga, Maselesele Makoti, Karabo Modisane, Thabo Moshikere, Thanda Madiba, Junior Masehla, Advocate Mokwena, Malik Mashinini, Sanele Ndlalane, Mongezi Mncube, Siphosihle Nkambule.
TUT: Luyanda Mandindi, Ndumiso Kubheka, Freddy Mahloana, Ndumiso Mazibuko, Alan Moja, Hendrick Mncedisi Xaba, Tiego Mathebe, Katlego Kgoete, Lindokuhle Tumelo Motsamai, Bongani Ngobeni, Tshiamo Mahome.
UWC 4-2 VUT
A 4-2 win for UWC over VUT at the UWC Stadium has given the Cape-based side a home semi-final next week against defending champions TUT.
Lwando Mdleleni's charges had one task in mind coming into the match, to win so that they could qualify for the semi-finals. And they started on the right foot when central midfielder Damian Overmeyer broke the deadlock in the 29th minute scoring from a UWC set piece just outside the VUT box on the right side.
UWC continued to showcase good quality football and despite the halftime score of 1-0, VUT didn’t sit back feeling sorry for themselves.
Shortly after returning to the field for the second half, the visitors shocked the home side when Ntokozo Mgidi scored a fast goal to make it 1-1. Mdleleni's side was not done however as they managed to score two quick goals through Riyaaz Koopstadt and Leandro de Sousa to give UWC a comfortable lead.
Craig Joemath netted the fourth goal for UWC from a corner kick in the 78th minute to make it 4-1. VUT's Kgotso Nhlapo scored a consolation goal just before the end of the match.
Scorers: UWC – Damian Overmeyer, Riyaaz Koopstadt, Leando de Sousa, Craig Joemath.
VUT – Kgotso Nhlapo, Ntokozo Mgidi.
FNB Player of the match: Damian Overmeyer (UWC)
UWC: Leathan Croats, Lutando Mpokotya, Damian Overmeyer, Khanya Alex Dyani, Craig Joemath, Shuaib Martin, Relebohile Matima, Siyabulela Mcimeli, Leandro De Sousa, Jadan Zeeman, Riyaaz Koopstadt.
VUT: Thabiso Simon Moeketsi, Kgabo Ngoepe, Perceverance Mashabane, Kgotso Nhlapo, Sizwe Sibeko, Simamkele Masiza, Siyabonga Nombewu, Lucky Raphala, Ntokozo Mgidi, Sibusiso Baloyi, Kgahlisho Kgomoeswana.
NWU 2-1 UFH
NWU travelled to the Davidson Stadium in the Eastern Cape to hand UFH a 2-1 defeat on home turf and secure a semi-final spot.
In the first few minutes of the game, both teams were aggressive, throwing everything they had at each other. They were playing a passing game and hunting for open spaces. The number of yellow cards issued early in the game demonstrated the intensity of the game.
NWU’s Reatlegile Kgosithebe goal scored from a tap-in with a quality cross from Heaven Sereetsi, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at the halftime break.
Early in the second half, UFH set the tone by moving the ball fast to reach their striker Sinobom Kapase. The visitors attempted to slow the game down to break UFH's momentum, but the home team was unbeatable at that moment. Kapase, who unleashed a cracker in the box to find the back of the net 15 minutes into the second half, scored for the home team.
Reatlegile scored his second goal of the match, showing power as he made a terrific turn in between two UFH defenders and put the ball into the back of the net, to secure the victory.
The fact that both teams wanted to win was a tremendous highlight of the game. The home team deserves credit for their efforts.
Scorers: NWU – Reatlegile Kgosithebe (2)
UFH – Sinobom Kapase
FNB Player of the match: Lesego Motsepe (NWU)
NWU: Ethan Mokwena, Kananelo Motsoeneng, Aphelele Sibisi, Khopotso Moshapo, Lesego Motsepe, Lucas Seromo, Pascual Tivane, Reatlegile Kgosithebe, Thato Ndela, Lesiba Mahlong, Heaven Sereetsi.
UFH: Nkosiyethu Ngobe, Bonke Nxiwa, Athenkosi Dobe, Athenkosi Jezi, Lubabalo Dayimani, Mbeko Bungane, Thabani Mqambeli, Athenkosi Masiza, Lonwabo Booi, Bubele Gcuku, Sinobom Kapase.
UFS 4-1 CUT
UFS saved their best for last with a 4-1 win over city rivals CUT at Shimla Park.
With NWU and UWC winning earlier in the day, UFS’ chances of reaching the semi-finals for the third straight year were dashed, but this didn’t stop them from playing a high-intensity game.
In typical derby fashion, it was end-to-end stuff by both teams, especially going into the game knowing that it was nothing more than a dead rubber and the only real prize on offer was the bragging rights.
The scoring was opened in the 10th minute with Sambulo Sithole, steering a rebound into the back of the net. The joy was short-lived as a lap in concentration saw Lesego Mafikeng score an own goal as he tried to pass the ball back to the goalkeeper, Tisetso Seodinyane.
UFS had a chance to regain the lead, but captain Aphiwe Zulu missed a penalty that was awarded for a handball. Close to halftime however, Sithole pounced on another rebound to see the hosts take a 2-1 lead into the break.
Shortly after halftime, Omphemetse Athibeng scored a third goal for UFS to give them a healthy lead. Deep into stoppage time, striker Boy Rantsoti carved his way through the CUT defence to score the Lions’ fourth goal to drive the final nail into the CUT coffin.
Scorers: UFS – Sambule Sithole (2), Omphemetse Athibeng, Boy Rantsoti.
CUT – Own goal (Lesego Mafikeng)
FNB Player of the match: Omphemetse Athibeng (UFS)
UFS: Tisetso Seodinyane, Obakeng Seekoei, Sandile Mhlanga, Aphiwe Zulu, Lesego Mafikeng, Reatlehile Meya, Boy Rantsoti, Ethan Goldstone, Omphemetse Athibeng, Sambulo Sithole, Thandolwethu Khoza.
CUT: Motlalentwa Jacob Mbolekwa, Simo Ndlovu, Khotso Mphene, Tumelo Mothabeng, Keletso Khumalo, Mpho Bartman, Pogisho Dikole, Oratile Mothibedi, Lehlohonolo Nkaekae, Mbongiseni Ngwenya, Mpho Alex Ngcobo.