7 September 2018 – North-West University Noble Boys emerge victorious against University of Johannesburg in their seventh and final round of the 2018 Varsity Football tournament on Thursday night in Mafikeng.
The sizzling goal from NWU right wing, Banele Hlophe, put an end to University of Johannesburg’s unbeaten streak in the tournament and stopped all ambitions of a revenge from UJ over last year’s thrashing in their back yard.
The win by the Noble Boys came on the back of unsatisfactory performance against Wits, Tshwane University of Technology, and most recently Tuks. Although the win by NWU was a much needed relief, it wasn’t enough to secure them a spot in the semi-finals.
“This game was always going to come down to probabilities for us. However, I am happy with the focus of the players and the fight that they took to our challenger’s doorstep. It wasn’t easy but through determination we were able to emerge victorious,” said NWU coach, Monde Hlatswayo.
“We always go out to win and represent the institution with pride, and this game wasn’t any different. The objective was crystal clear: to get maximum results at home and play for our supporters,” he added.
Fixture: Wits vs TUT
TUT break Wits’ unbeaten home run
The final round of the group phase of the Varsity Football tournament was played on Thursday evening, with Wits University hosting the Tshwane University of Technology at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, as TUT won 4-2, with both teams securing semi-final spots.
With Wits already having confirmed their spot in the semi-final stage of the tournament, it was just a matter of securing a home semi-final for the hosts. TUT on the hand, had it all to do, with only a win securing them a passage through to the last four. The men from Pretoria did just that, thanks to a hatrick from Godfrey Mahlala and a goal late on from Emmanuel Mahlangu, that saw TUT win 4-2.
The first half started with the visitors looking threatening very early on, creating opportunities that Wits managed to clear. TUT’s persistence in attack did eventually pay off just after the 15th minute mark, when Godfrey Mahlala received a ball in-front of the Wits box, which he quickly trapped and released a thunderbolt to send his team into an early lead.
Wits did not take too long to get back in the game, with Baliwe Moyakhe silencing the away end, after he received a cross from the left-hand side to calmly slide the ball past TUT shot stopper Sikhumbuzo Ncube for the equalizer. The game was then a very hot affair with both teams enjoying a fair share of opportunities, before Wits defender Kal Laing brought down a TUT player in the box, with the referee immediately pointing to the penalty spot. Godfrey Mahlala stepped up and sent Wits goalie Daniel Meyer the wrong way and TUT into a 2-1 lead going into the break.
The second half commenced with the Witsies leveling matters, courtesy of a well taken goal from the skipper Tshireletso Motsogi. Wits looked to grow in confidence after that, but TUT were always able to tame them. The visitors eventually took more control of the game after the 60th minute, looking dangerous every time they went forward. The goal did eventually come for TUT, with Mahlala producing yet another stunning shot that got him his hatrick and his team a 3-2 lead.
After conceding Wits hugged and puffed going in search of an equalizer but Emmanuel Mahlangu killed the home sides hopes of a comeback, when he pushed the ball beyond Meyer and make it 4-2 with just 2 minutes to go in the game. In the end TUT held onto secure a win and spot in the semi-final against their neighbours UP-Tuks, whilst Wits will make the short trip to Soweto, to play their rivals UJ. The loss is Wits’ first one at home this season, after previously winning 3 games and drawing 1.
Goals: Baliwe Moyakhe, Tshireletso Motsogi
Goals: Godfrey Mahlala (3), Emmanuel Mahlangu
Fixture: UKZN vs UL
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) finally bagged in a victory in the bottom-of-the-table clash against University of Limpopo UL in the last round. USSA champions UKZN finally claimed all three points in the bottom-of-the-table clash against fellow debuting UL.
The match began very slowly with slippery weather conditions proving to affect the match. Half-time came with the match still goalless.
The deadlock was soon to be broken by UKZN’s Bongumenzi Zulu in the 79th minute when he nodded home a beautiful curved in cross. Following a constant going down of the UL players six minutes of stoppage time were added by the referee.
Just when everyone thought that the match result was final, two late goals were bagged by in-form Ziyanda Ndlovu and talismanic captain Nqubeko Dlamini.
The match ended 3-0 to UKZN, with UKZN relieved to hand UL the wooden spoon of the tournament.