A night of draws and a major loss ends with bottom teams UWC, UCT, UL and NMMU heading home
It was a tough night for all the teams as they battled it out in the final round before the semi-finals. The teams at the bottom of the log showed superb skills in tonight’s games, showing that they have made great progress during the tournament, and will be a force to be reckoned with next year. Next week UP-Tuks travel to Mafikeng to face the unbeaten NWU in their semi-final, while UJ will host Kovsies in the other play-off match. Newcomers UJ lead the pack as the top four teams prepare to fight for a spot in the finals.
UCT and UWC played to a thrilling 3-3 draw in a hard-fought Cape derby on the Green Mile today. Ikeys created a few opportunities on the counter attack, and took a surprise lead against the run of play when an unmarked Charlie Mbatha struck the ball into the back of the net. UWC scored the equaliser soon afterwards as a brilliant run from Thulani Mkosi down the left wing set up striker Curtley Beukes for the finishing touch. The Ikeys took a 2-1 lead into half-time, but the match was soon level again as UWC replacement Keenan Davis smashed a header into the net. In a tense final quarter, both sides threw all they had at each other in search of the win. The visitors scored, putting them 3-2 ahead. A late equalising goal from Ikeys striker Louis-Romain Moussi Sopp brought the UCT team level following a goalmouth scramble after a corner. This assured an electrifying exit from the tournament for both sides.
FNB man of the match: Thulani Mkosi
UF-Kovsies played host to a closely contested and entertaining match against NWU-Mafikeng, drawing 1-1. The teams had to settle for a point apiece as they were both unable to convert the many opportunities at goal into reality. It was an intense match, with both teams desperately seeking the opening goal. Kovsies were awarded a penalty late into injury time when Groenewald was brought down by Amogelang Maduo. Manxubandile Bantshi made no mistake slotting the penalty into the net to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead at the break. Modimoeng brought the North West team back into the match as he struck the ball into the home side’s net in the 75th minute. Both teams went in search of the winner as the match sparked into life but neither managed to score the goal that would give them victory and earn them maximum points.
FNB Man of the Match: Lehlohonolo Mokoena
UJ have ended the round-robin stage on top of the Varsity Football standings after a 1-1 draw to UL in Johannesburg tonight. A heated first-half ended goalless. A confident UL came out blazing in the second half, giving the UJ defence a tough time as they kept up the attack on the goal. UJ goalkeeper Harrison needed medical treatment after clashing into a player while making a save. Ndhlovu was then forced into action on the other side of the field, flicking the ball wide of goal as UL attacked to score. The visitors piled on the pressure though and were eventually rewarded when Clyde Kgatla score from a free-kick, beating Harrison with a swerving shot to find the back of the net for Limpopo. UJ soon hit back when an attack on UL’s goal resulted in a scramble which saw Taelo Mphahlele turn the ball into his net to draw the sores level at 1-1. Both teams were unable to score the goal they desperately sought to put them ahead, and the match ended 1-1 cementing UJ’s position at the top of the standings.
FNB Man of the Match: Pholoshi Bapela
Defending Varsity Football champions UP-Tuks booked a semi-final slot with a 4-0 win over NMMU in Pretoria tonight. The Pretoria side’s victory heralds the end of the tournament for the Madibaz, who needed a draw to qualify for the play-offs. The hosts took control with an early double strike. Jeremiah Nkwana curled a free kick into the top right corner to open the scoring, and Simbongile Njokwe buried a header from a corner soon afterwards to put them 2-0 up.
The home side had extended their lead to 3-0 by half-time. There were few scoring opportunities after half time, but UP-Tuks had the final say as Thabo Ndlovu came up with their fourth goal in extra time.
FNB man of the match: Richard Moremi
Bringing much of the excitement often seen at US collegiate sports, Varsity Sports events are renowned as much for their athletic mettle as they are for their showmanship, with flashy cheerleaders, pyrotechnics, thumping music and vocal fans. The concept is that of a playground, where the best footballers can test themselves against their peers. Market-leading brands sponsor the platform, with Samsung, Debonairs Pizza, FNB, Cell C and JetMart as the lead football sponsors.
CEO for Varsity Sports Duitser Bosman says, “The excitement and quality of Varsity Football is what draws the crowds to these events. These high-energy events are well organised and offer huge spectator entertainment.”
Marketing Executive for Varsity Sports Guy Loxton adds, “Varsity Sports is seeing many promising sportsmen and -women successfully compete at its events and gain the attention they deserve.”
The semi-final round of Varsity Football will roll out from 8 September 2014,with two more weeks of nonstop explosive football action to look forward to, get yourself down to games in your province to experience Monday’s excitement first hand. Matches commence at 16:45, 18:00 and 19:00.
For those living further afield, be sure to watch all the drama unfold by following nonstop Varsity Sports action on SuperSport channels 210 and 204 next Monday. The programme follows:
|DATE||NO||TIME||HOME TEAM||VS||AWAY TEAM||VENUE||TV|
|08-Sep-14||29||16:45||2ND ON LOG||vs||3RD ON LOG||TBC||√|
|30||19:00||1ST ON LOG||vs||4TH ON LOG||TBC||√|
|15-Sep-14||31||19:00||WINNER OF SEMI-FINAL||WINNER OF SEMI-FINAL||HIGHEST ON LOG||√|