UWC men’s football team were crowned Varsity Football champions for the first time when they downed favourites Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) 2-1 on Thursday evening.
The victory was sweet and immediate revenge for UWC after their women’s team could not wrestle the Varsity Women's Football title from TUT, going down by the same scoreline to the reigning champions in the earlier encounter at UWC Sports Stadium.
During the men’s game, the capacity-full home supporters were silenced early on in the first half when TUT’s Masonwabe Sokanyile scored a free kick from outside the box which beat UWC goalkeeper and captain Reon October. Despite the home side’s few attempts at goal, the score remained 1-0 to the visitors going to the break.
Whatever UWC coach Salie Adams told his charges in the dressing room seemed to work as his side came back firing on all cylinders in the second stanza. With the cheering crowd backing their team, it was not too long before Man of the Match Tapelo Sixishe’s brilliantly taken corner kick found leftback Keenan Davis who headed home the deserving equaliser in the 58th minute.
Adams, the former Maritzburg United assistant coach, and his technical team were good at reading the game, as it has been the case throughout the tournament. They brought on Josh Silent upfront, and with 15 minutes remaining Player of the Tournament Thulani Mkosi’s defence-splitting pass found the big forward whose thunderous strike from a tight angle hit the roof of the net to send the packed stadium into frenzy.
UDubs could have added a goal or two to put the game beyond the visitors’ reach, but their attempts missed the target. However, that didn’t matter when the final whistle sounded as the Varsity Football trophy came to Cape Town for the first time in its three years of existence.
UWC (0) 2 (Keenan Davis, Josh Silent)
TUT (1) 1 (Masonwabe Sokanyile)
UWC: 1 Reon October (captain), 2 Marshall Jansen, 3 Keenan Davis, 6 Akhona Bonga, 7 Thulani Mkosi, 10 Tapelo Sixishe, 12 Phiwokuhle Mpalala, 13 Ashwin Kounzie, 18 Thando Ziwele, 19 Josh Silent, 23 Ryan Steer.
Substitutes: 9 Marchello Viglino, 14 Ayanda Nkukwana, 15 Lwando Ngqwemla, 16 Amanzo Jacobs, 20 Nhlanhla Manana 21 Chadwin Lotters, 25 Shakeel Sadien.
Head coach: Salie Adams
FNB Player of the match: Tapelo Sixishe (UWC)
Samsung Superstriker: Masonwabe Sokanyile (TUT)
Overall Player of the Tournament: Thulani Mkosi (UWC)