The match was a repeat of last year’s final but this time the roles were reversed. This was UWC’s second title in five years.
The Orange Army lost concentration early in the game and UWC drew the first blood inside the opening 10 minutes courtesy of a Lonathemba Mhlongo goal.
UJ were limited in chances and failed to get back into the game. A star-studded UWC team remained in control throughout most of the game with the combination of Banyana Banyana’s Bongeka Gamede and Snegugu Zondi keeping things solid at the middle of the park. This gave the Western Cape side a slender 1-0 advantage at the break.
Thinasonke Mbuli’s charges picked up where they left off as they walked from the tunnel rejuvenated. UWC doubled their lead 13 minutes after the break when Katlego Mabuza was fed a cheeky through ball and easily beat the UJ keeper.
UWC’s Chelsea Daniels, a nominee for player of the tournament, was stretchered off due to injury in the 67th minute. UJ’s Lusanda Mavundla walked away with the top honours while UWC goalkeeper Siphesihle Dlamini shared the Golden Glove award with UJ's Matshidiso Masebe.
MATCH FACTSSaturday, 19 August 2023
At TUT Stadium, Pretoria
UWC (1) 2 (Lonathemba Mhlongo, Katlego Mabuza)
Player of the match: Bongeka Gamede (UWC)
UWC: Siphesihle Dlamini, Sinegugu Zondi, Lindokuhle Gladile, Lonathemba Mhlongo, Fikile Magama, Bongeka Gamede, Khanyisa Manengela, Katlego Mabuza, Tiffany Kortjie, Chelsea Daniels, Nabeelah Galant.
Head coach: Thinasonke Mbuli
Match report courtesy Varsity Sports Media. Images by Christiaan and Catherine Kotze/ASEM Engage.