Coach Thinasonke Mbuli’s charges began the month in fourth place behind runaway champions-elect Mamelodi Sundowns, TUT and JVW – all of whom had taken advantage of UWC’s relative inactivity in September.
The ladies in blue and gold first October fixture was against one of those Top 4 rivals, JVW (whose eponymous owner Janine van Wyk had just returned from Scotland to once again play for them), on 13 October. Goals from Sibulele Holweni (high on confidence after finishing as top scorer in the Cosafa Women’s Championship), interim captain Sinegugu Zondi and Molatelo Kobo helped the team pick up all three vital away points (3-1), and a move back up to second on the log.
Three days later, they were back in action at home against bottom-of-the-log Tsunami Queens. Holweni again opened the scoring, from the penalty spot, but the visitors held their own in the first half to stay in the hunt. However, two second half goals saw UWC claim all three points again with a 3-0 scoreline before another two-week international break.
As it happens, it was a great ‘break’ for the UWC contingent of Regirl Ngobeni, Noxolo Cesane and Sibulele Holweni (and coach Mbuli who serves as Desiree Ellis’ assistant at national level). All three featured for Banyana Banyana in the back-to-back Africa Women Cup of Nations first round qualifiers against Mozambique.
Holweni and Cesane started the first leg, with the latter scoring in the 7-0 rout in Maputo. During the return leg at FNB Stadium, Ngobeni made her senior international debut with Cesane also starting. Holweni, meanwhile, came off the bench and scored to maintain her excellent scoring streak and seal the 6-0 win as Banyana easily progressed to the next round of qualifying for Morocco 2022.
On their return to club fold, all three were called upon for the road trip to De Aar to face Richmond United Ladies (pictured) on 30 October which closed out the month’s action.
Following a goalless first half on a hot summer’s afternoon, Molatelo Kobo opened the scoring on the Northern Cape town’s state-of-the-art astroturf. However, Richmond scored twice to leave UWC trailing with only a few minutes left. Fortunately, UWC were able to create another chance which Sduduzo Dlamini duly buried and the match finished 2-2. The rescued point leaves UWC in third place ahead of what is going to be a very busy November featuring seven fixtures.
OCTOBER 2021 RESULTS AT A GLANCE
|13 October||JVW||3-1||Away||Sibulele Holweni, Sinegugu Zondi, Molatelo Kobo|
|16 October||Tsunami Queens||3-0||Home||Sibulele Holweni pen, TBC, TBC|
|30 October||Richmond United Ladies||2-2||Away||Molatelo Kobo, Sduduzo Dlamini|
HOLLYWOODBETS SUPER LEAGUE LOG SNAPSHOT (as at 31 October 2021)