Tonight’s semi-final matches both ended with penalty shootouts which led to TUKS and UJ making it through to the finals. UJ have proven their football abilities during their debut year, and are a force to be reckoned with. However, Last year’s winners will fight to continue being the Varsity Football title holders. This exciting energy will definitely make for an entertaining football final- one not to be missed! The TUKS ladies football team have also made it to the final where they will be playing against USSA champions TUT.
The first semifinal had to be settled by the lottery of a penalty shootout and it was the visitors, UP-Tuks, who held their nerve to send NWU out of the competition for the second time in as many years. The Pretoria students kept their unbeaten record against their North West opponents alive with the 5-4 win on penalties. The match was open and fast paced for the first half with both sides having their fair chances to grab the lead but the teams went goalless into the break. The second half started the way the first ended with both teams pushing hard for the opening goal despite hard tackles flying in from both sides .Both teams pushed to find a late winner as the final whistle approached but neither could convert the numerous chances they created as the match went into the dreaded penalty shootout following a goalless draw.
Sudden death seemed imminent as the teams were locked at 4-4 with their final kicks to be taken. Tuks goalkeeper Dylan Paterson pulled of a save from a tame shot by Modimoeng before Lawrence Ntswane stepped up and calmly slotted his penalty to send the defending champions into the final for a second consecutive year.
FNB Man of the Match: Jarryd Van Den Berg
UJ booked themselves a spot in the Varsity Football Final after an enthralling semi-final against UFS-Kovsies in Soweto. With the match tied at 2-2 on the final whistle, UJ edged their hosts in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out, eventually winning by three penalties to one. Two minutes into the match the wing-back got the better of the goalkeeper, driving in a thumping shot to give UJ an early lead. The one-nil lead seemed to give the hosts confidence as they spent much of the first ten minutes in Kovsies’ half. Thirty minutes into the match Kovsies seemed to gain some momentum going forward but still failed to make any of their attacks count. They eventually found a way through after a slip by Bruchhausen allowing Walter Phori to pounce on and cross in from the left – Phori with a side-footed volley to equal the score. After winning a free-kick from what looked like a good tackle from Bruchhausen, Marothodi Phillies bundled the ball into the back of the net during the second half, for UJ to concede from yet another set-piece. UJ then got back into the game when De Freitas found himself with a yard of space on the right in the 58th minute and whipped in a dangerous cross just behind the Kovsies defence for Kaylan More to bravely head in for the equaliser. After 90 minutes with the scores locked at 2-2 the referee blew for full-time and the players prepared themselves for a penalty shootout. Tshepo Tolo stepped up to take the first penalty and scored. Jay Jay Groenewald missed his shot. Lumkile Dava scored for UJ. Lehlohonolo Mokoena scored with a cheeky chip down the middle .Tebego Mandyu then scored his effort. Manxubandile Bantshi failed to beat UJ goalkeeper Mduduzi Khumalo. Kaylan More could have won it for UJ but sent his effort wide of goal. UFS captain Themba Zimo then stepped up to get Kovsies back into it, but sent his shot over the bar for UJ to celebrate their win and a place in the finals next week.
Man of the Match: Sandro Claro
A spirited performance from the UP-Tuks ladies saw them upset reigning champions UJ 1-2 to book themselves a spot in the Varsity Football finals next week. UP-Tuks number seven, Jade Meissner Raposo, didn’t wait long to put the visitors in the lead, scoring after five minutes to make it 1-0 for the Tuks ladies. The visitors dominated the first half with some good passing and running off the ball, leaving their hosts chasing shadows. UP-Tuks eventually found the back of the net again as Meissner Raposo broke through to score her second goal, making it 0-2 for the visitors. The teams went into the dressing rooms with UP-Tuks in the lead by two goals, but UJ came out firing on the second half, putting their opponents under pressure from the get-go. The visiting team held on to their lead despite a last minute onslaught from last year’s champs and walked away winners to book their place in the final next week.
FNB Player of Match: Cailin Whyte
TUT ran out a comfortable 2-0 victory over UWC in the second ladies semi-final which now gives them a chance of claiming the title to go with their USSA trophy. Mashilo made up for her earlier miss in the 40th minute when she a sent a powerful shot from the edge of the box which left Calderon with no chance as the keeper watched the ball hit the back of her net. TUT held onto their slender lead at the halftime break. The Tswane students extended their lead in the 60th minute through a long range effort from Ntsweng whose powerful drive sailed into the UWC net. TUT kept pushing to find a third but were unable to add more goals as they ran out comfortable 2-0 victors.
FNB Player of the Match: Koketso Tlailane
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 FINAL round of Varsity Football will roll out on the 15th September 2014; get yourself down to the game to experience Monday’s excitement first hand. The matches commence at 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|
|DATE||NO||TIME||HOME TEAM||VS||AWAY TEAM||VENUE||TV|
|15-Sep-14||03||19:00||TUKS Women||vs||TUT Women||TBC|