UP-Tuks ensures home Varsity semi-final by beating UWC

Claudio de Almeida again impressed with his tactically savvy midfielder skills for Tuks on Monday night against UWC. Photo: Reg Caldecott

UP-Tuks secured a home semi-final in the 2017 Varsity Tournament yesterday by beating the University of the Western Cape 2-1 at Tuks Stadium.

The result ensured that UP-Tuks finished second on the log. TUT, who have won five of their seven games, are the current log leaders with UWC in the third spot and the Central University of Technology (CUT) fourth.

Tuks will resume their rivalry with UWC on 14 September at 16:00 in a do or die battle to qualify for the Varsity Football final, while TUT will face CUT at 18:15.

Tuks road to the semi-final has definite similarities to the classic story about the race between the hare and the tortoise. After their first three games, Tuks was third from the bottom having lost one game and playing to a draw in two matches. More disconcerting was the fact that they were only able to score one goal.

However coach, Tisane Motaung, never lost faith in his player’s abilities emphasising that the best is yet to come.

“Somehow we tend to be slow starters. We get better with each game we play,” he said after the victory on Monday.

The players did not disappoint. After beating Wits 4-0, there was no stopping them. UP-Tuks went on to win four games on the trot scoring 11 goals and only conceding one.

UP-Tuks was brilliant on Monday during the first half of the match against UWC. Through clinical perfection, in the first half, they made sure that they scored twice.

Odwa Makha seems to have perfected the art of keeping a “cool head” when it matters by scoring UP-Tuks’s first goal in the 31st minute with a header. It is the second time in the Varsity Football Tournament that he has scored using his a header.

Ludomo Nkebe rewarded Motaung’s faith in his abilities by scoring the second vital goal in only his second game for Tuks. He was unlucky not to have scored another goal. He impressed everyone with his gutsy performance. Towards the end of the game, it was evident to all that he was suffering and in pain, but he refused to quit.

“I owed it to my coach to give a 100% as he is the one who believed in my abilities. I did not want to disappoint him. Scoring the second goal was special I certainly did not plan on doing so but ‘Coach.’ emphasised that if I keep testing the defenders, I could score a goal,” said Nkebe.

Claudio de Almeida again impressed with his tactically savvy midfielder skills. He has got the knack of making the crucial passes on defence and attack. Try as they may, the opposition very seldom managed to intercept.

Motaung is under no illusion as to what awaits his team in the second encounter in four days against UWC when they meet in the semi-finals.

“It is going to be full on war because there is so much at stake. The winner goes on to play the final while it is all over for whoever loses,” he concluded.

 

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Rekord Pretoria

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