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1 July 2021
UDubs football ladies move up to second before postponements, lockdown stall league season
June went perfectly for UWC’s football team in the Hollywoodbets Super League, as Thinasonke Mbuli’s ladies claimed three wins from three matches... but then off-the-field matters halted proceedings.

The month got underway with a crunch home fixture on 5 June against long-time varsity rivals, and fellow Macron-sponsored team, UJ.

On a warm and dry winter’s day, neither team wanted to give an inch which resulted in a cagey first half which ended goalless. 

Coach Mbuli was not content with the status quo, making an early second half substitution… Tiffany Kortjie replacing Abongile Dlani. Duly, a goal finally arrived around the hour mark when the ever-industrious Molatelo Kobo was brought down in the box to earn a penalty. Sibulele Holweni made no mistake from the spot and UWC held firm to secure the 1-0 result - to make it a perfect four victories at home this season.
 
UWC line up before UJ clash: (back row) Sibulele Holweni, Abongile Dlani, Regirl
Ngobeni, Antonia Maponya, Molatelo Kobo; (front row) Bongeka Gamede, Babalwa
Mngxunya, Nelly Mamabolo, Fikile Magama, Snegugu Zondi, Simnikiwe Mhlakaza.
A potentially tricky tie against Tsunami Queens in Clarens awaited UWC the following weekend. However, a first half blitz during which Dlani scored twice and Holweni added another put to bed any worries Mbuli and her charges may have had. 

Having taken a reduced squad on the trip, the second half was less all-action for UWC but they managed to maintain their cleansheet to secure the 3-0 win.  
 
Abongile Dlani on the charge against Richmond United
Richmond United arrived at campus on 19 June having had an inconsistent run of form to date, but with enough talent in their squad to pose the Bushies some danger.

Again a beautiful day awaited the two teams, but the first half did not match the conditions - ending goalless - and prompted coach Mbuli to make a double substitution after the break. 

Dlani and Noxolo Cesane came on to add more impetus to UWC’s attack, and the move paid dividends when the former earned a penalty just before the hour mark. Once again, Holweni coolly slotted home. Dlani continued terrorising the Richmond defence but our #12 just couldn’t find the net as the match played out to a nervy, though satisfactory, conclusion for UWC.

The third straight three points for UWC helped them move up to second, with the 20 points after nine matches only being two less than table-toppers Mamelodi Sundowns.

Meanwhile, as a reward for the team’s excellent form during the month, four players earned call-ups for Banyana Banyana’s high-profile proposed friendly away against the Netherlands (set for 3 July). This necessitated the postponement of the team’s scheduled Round 10 fixture against Ma-Indies on 26 June while the squad were in camp.

As things unfolded, that trip was eventually cancelled due to COVID-19 infections in the Banyana Banyana squad. In the interim, UWC was overtaken on the Hollywoodbets Super League log (by TUT, on goal difference) and then the country went into a lockdown which forced the postponement of the league in July until the third wave of the pandemic subsided.

JUNE RESULTS AT A GLANCE

Date Opponents Result Venue Scorers
5 June UJ 1-0 H Sibulele Holweni pen
12 June Tsunami Queens 3-0 A Abongile Dlani 2, Sibulele Holweni
19 June Richmond United 1-0 H Sibulele Holweni pen

HOLLYWOODBETS SUPER LEAGUE LOG SNAPSHOT (as at 31 June 2021)

Position Team P W D L GF GA GD Points
1 Mamelodi Sundowns 8 7 1 0 25 4 +21 22
2 TUT 10 6 2 2 22 10 +12 20
3 UWC 9 6 2 1 16 5 +11 20
4 First Touch 9 6 2 1 20 10 +10 20

All images courtesy Skhu Nkomphela/UWC Sport