Wins for UJ, CUT and TUT in Varsity Football opening round

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NWU-Mafikeng were humbled 6-2 by UJ in their opening match on home turf, with UJ putting out a fine second-half display to record a resounding opening round victory.

NWU-Mafikeng drew first blood early from their first corner when David Ngwenya headed in, but UJ soon drew level thanks to a Matthew Edwards header, also resulting from a corner. NWU-Mafikeng were back in front after 27 minutes thanks to another corner headed in by Thapelo Tlabakwe.

But in a moment of madness followed, as the ball was passed back to NWU-Mafikeng goalkeeper Amogelang Maduo who missed the kick, the ball bobbling over his foot and ending in the back of the net. It was 2-2 at the break.

In the second half UJ came out firing and punished a poor NWU-Mafikeng defence. The goals rained in as the match ended 6-2 in favour of Mandla Zwane’s men, Tshepo Tolo, Emmanuel Ndu, Samuel Warder and another from Edwards helping secure convincing victory.

Reigning Varsity Football champions UWC opened their title defence with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against former champions UP-Tuks at UWC Sports Stadium.

Goals from Tuks’ Khwinana Mogau and his opposite number Suhayl Allie either side of half time ensured that the two South African university football powerhouses shared the spoils on a chilly winter evening in Bellville.

With both sides fielding mainly new players after many of their players had graduated, it was a game of two halves as the visitors dominated the first stanza and deservingly took an early lead when Mogou headed home from a Simbongile Njokwe corner on the 8th minute.

The visitors could have doubled the lead before the break as they were in control of the game with their neat touches, but were let down by their woeful shooting.

In the second stanza UWC came out guns blazing and forced their opponents to commit a number of fouls. From one of those fouls Aghmat Ceres delivered a curling free-kick from the right side and Allie was on hand to head home.

From then onwards UWC pushed more players upfront in search of a win, but a resolute Tuks defence ensured that the game ended 1-1.

TUT began their Varsity Football campaign on a high after beating Wits 2-1 at the TUT stadium.

Backed by the home crowd, TUT started the game on the front foot, but found goalkeeper Sithembiso Zuke in good form. Wits eventually found the back of the net against the run of play through Saluleko Mathonsi after a square pass by Mahle Mtabane to beat TUT keeper Dumsani Msibi with a low shot.

Despite the goal, TUT continued to dominate the game, but had to wait until the 31st minute to find the equaliser through Katlego Kgetsepe following a well-taken corner kick by Thabang Motau. The game went for a breather with both teams locked at 1-1.

The second half was replica of the first half with TUT still in the driving seat, but found man of the match Zuke in an uncompromising mood in Wits goal. The visitors were unlucky not to score when striker Graeme Dor’s shot was cleared off the line by a TUT defender.

CUT were just too strong for home side UFH following their 2-0 victory in Alice.

CUT came out guns blazing from kick-off, putting the hosts under pressure early in the game, with goalkeeper Mangona Phakamani being put to the test as they peppered his goal early on.

Persistency was the song for the day by the men from Bloemfontein as they were consistently on the offensive, their rampant attack finally rewarded them as they managed to score a terrific goal by Keitumetse Mabathoana. The men from Alice soon came to the pace as they had their own fair chance, but with their balls only managing to find the woodwork. The first half ended 1-0.

The second half got underway UFH looked to make amends for their first half performance. But CUT again came out strong and put the boys from Alice under immediate pressure. CUT broke through the defence of UFH and counter attacked, resulting in a stunning header from CUT’s Cameron Chweu in the first 10 minutes of the second half, increasing their lead to 2-0.

CUT began to slow down the game as the time drew closer to the 90th minute, by keeping possession of the ball. UFH desperately tried to counter but to no avail. The final whistle blew and the match ended in a 2-0 victory for CUT over the boys from Fort Hare.