Tonight’s final Varsity Football match saw the crowds at the edge of their seats as both teams fought for the win. Newcomers UJ were a tough team to beat, but TUKS managed to retain their Varsity Football title. On the other side of the fence the TUT women’s team managed to secure their first Varsity Football title.
Jeremiah Nkwana scored an absolute stunner of a free kick to hand UP-Tuks their second consecutive Varsity Football title. The evenly poised match was always going to be separated by a moment of brilliance and that’s exactly what Nkwana delivered in the 76th minute. The high intensity match was evenly poised throughout the first half as players from both sides were on the wrong end of some hard tackles.As the halftime break approached, the midfield battle intensified and both sets of players were forced to make quick decisions on the ball as space and time on the ball was shut down in the blink of an eye. The match remained goalless at the halftime interval.
UJ came out firing in the second half and kept the Tuks defence under pressure but they lacked composure in the 18-yard area and, as a result, failed to trouble Ngubeni.
The intensity remained fast and furious as the hour mark was reached as both team’s defenders and goal keepers kept any and all attempts at bay. Lerato Tleane gave away a needless free-kick just outside the box which provided an ideal chance for Nkwana to hand the defending champions the lead in the 76th minute. The setpiece king stepped up and smashed the ball into the roof of the net to send the visiting supporters into ecstasy and hand Tuks the lead. The defending champions held on to retain the title they won last year.
FNB Man of the Match: Jeremiah Nkwana
It was a case of second-time lucky for TUT as they brushed UP-Tuks aside in a fairly one sided match to claim their first Varsity Football title. TUT started the better of the teams and opened the score in the third minute through the boot of Mary Ntsweng following great work by Kgomotso Mashilwane down the right flank. TUT remained in control of the early stages by maintaining possession and dominating the midfield battle as Tuks were left to play off scraps. Following a water break, Tuks came out rejuvenated and started pushing forward as they were able to get more possession but attempts at goal were few and far between. Tuks were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 38th minute but Jade Meissner Raposo was unable to keep her shot down as both sides watched the ball sail over the crossbar. TUT managed to regain much of the possession as the half came to an end and created more chances to increase their lead but their finishing let them down as they kept their slender 1-0 at halftime.
The second half started the same as the first half with TUT dominating possession and creating numerous chances but, once again, their final touch let them down. Ntsweng grabbed a brace in 62nd minute when she latched onto a long pass and had a one-on-one with Whyte. The striker held her nerve and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into the roof of the open net. Palesa Mohlabai made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute when she pounced on a back-pass and sprinted 25 metres before placing the ball into the bottom left of the net. Mohlabai wreaked havoc on the Tuks defence and was brought down in the 18-yard area in 75th minute. Katlego Khwinana stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake by easily placing her shot into the back of the net. TUT kept applying the pressure on the hapless Tuks defence as they went in search of more goals. Khwinana got her brace, and TUT’s fifth, in the 88th minute when she broke through the Tuks defence and neatly placed the ball beyond the reach of Whyte.The 5-0 scoreline was enough to hand TUT their first Varsity Football title at the second attempt after losing in last year’s final.
FNB Player of the Match: Lebogang Rakhuduwe
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.”
The sporting excitement doesn’t end here, as the second game for Varsity Netball will take place this weekend. Make sure to get down to NMMU or NWU for great sportainment. For those living further afield, be sure to watch all the drama unfold by following nonstop Varsity Sports action on SuperSport channels 210 and 208. The programme follows:
|VARSITY NETBALL FIXTURES – 2014|
|Date||Day||Time||Game||Team 1||Team 2||Venue||TV|
|20-Sep||Saturday||14:00||5||Maties||Tuks||NMMU / NWU Puk – 4 teams @ ea|
|21-Sep||Sunday||15:45||9||Tuks||VUT||NMMU / NWU Puk – 4 teams @ ea||√|
|22-Sep||Monday||17:30||13||Maties||VUT||NMMU / NWU Puk – 4 teams @ ea|
|18:00||19||NWU Puk||VUT||NWU Puk|
|05-Oct||Sunday||13:15||21||Kovsies||Maties||UJ – all 8 teams|
|06-Oct||Monday||15:00||25||Kovsies||VUT||UJ – all 8 teams|
|13-Oct||Monday||17:30||29||2nd on log||3rd on log||2nd on log||√|
|18:45||30||1st on log||4th on log||1st on log||√|
|20-Oct||Monday||18:45||31||Winner 2 &3||Winner 1 & 4||Top of log||√|