EMMANUEL OLUSEGUN AND DITEBOGO TSHAKA
The 2017 Varsity Football Tournament has served up some entertaining fixtures as well as a few surprise results after three rounds of matches.
The first round of action kicked off on 27 July as defending champions TUT looked to defend their title as they hosted cross-town rivals UP. In the end, the two teams would end the game all square with a late free-kick from the home side ensuring the proceedings ended 1-1. Elsewhere, CUT (Central University of Technology) took on UJ (University of Johannesburg) at home as they looked to avenge their 2016 semi-final loss. The hosts managed to make out a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of a 66th minute Mpho Molwatse deflected shot. The first round also saw NWU and UWC take home three points each, with the latter putting together the best performance of the first round as they thrashed Wits 6-0.
The second round’s action took place a week later with UJ looking to put together a win after their loss in the opening round. They managed to do so, albeit against an unlucky UP. One goal was all that was needed to separate the two sides at Tuks Stadium, with an inspired defensive display from TUT (that included a host of impressive saves from UJ Goalkeeper Damaine Van Der Walt) enough to see them walk away with the three points. CUT continued to build on their winning start to the tournament with a 2-1 win over UWC, whilst NWU and TUT each recorded big wins against Wits and UFH respectively.
The third round saw TUT face UJ where TUT captain, Mogau Mphahlele, was the first to lead his team to victory, striking the top of the net and bringing the score to 0-1 to TUT. This came after UJ conceded a penalty following a foul by Dane Fortuin.UJ then tightened their defence at the front, leaving them vulnerable at the back. This allowed TUT Thabiso Lebitso, to score a goal at close range, bringing the score to 0-2. In the other matches of the night UWC beat UFH 4-0 while Wits beat CUT 2-0. UP drew 0-0 to NWU after both teams played strong defensive games.
After three rounds TUT find itself at the top of the log table followed by NWU in second place. UP find themselves at second last on the log followed by UFH (University of Fort Hare).
Photo: Stefan Stander