UWC downs defending champs
UWC Football Club kept their Varsity Football dream alive when they surprised champions UP-Tukkies with a 2-1 victory at UWC Sports Stadium on Monday, 25 August.
The win kept UWC at sixth place on the log standings with eight points, two points shy of the semi-final spots currently occupied by Tuks, Kovsies and Madibaz, who are all on 10 points with one round of matches remaining. The victory was the first for the University at home in this year’s Varsity Football campaign after they lost 2-1 to Kovsies and drew 2-2 and 1-1 against the University of Johannesburg and the University of Limpopo, respectively.
Unlike the previous home games when UWC dominated the first half, it was the visitors who took an early lead on Monday when star midfielder Jeremiah Nkwana’s shot from the left, defeating the home goalkeeper, Reon October.
Facing the wind, UWC fought hard to keep the determined Tuks at bay, and could have equalised if they had capitalised on the scoring opportunities they created before half time.
UWC coach Aboobaker “Boebie” Williams introduced star midfielder Tapelo Sixishe at the start of the second half, and the Cape Town FC midfielder made an instant impact as the home side pressed forward in search of an equaliser. It was not long before they earned one as Sixishe scored direct from the corner to level matters midway into the second half.
UWC could have secured the game, but again failed to take several scoring opportunities, until Reza Zain Dramat, another substitute, made sure that maximum points remained at home when he hammered the ball home in the 90th minute.
“The team is happy with the win as many players feel they have broken the voodoo of not winning on home soil,” notes UWC Assistant coach, Salie Adams. He says the team had worked on their shortcomings over the past few weeks – particularly addressing their fear of losing home games.
UWC started well in their previous games, scoring first, only to lose their momentum and end up losing or drawing games. Those problems, Adams adds, seem to have been addressed too, as they outplayed Tuks throughout the second half.
Adams praises his side for managing the adverse conditions well, as they had to battle against the bumpy pitch as well as the wind and rain. His players, he says, have been committed throughout the campaign: “The spirit is good in the camp and everyone has been putting in a lot of effort to be part of the journey.”
UWC will have to maintain their good performance when they take on neighbours from UCT away in a must-win final round match next Monday, 1 September 2014. But first the two sides will be meeting in a USSA game on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 – a warm-up for the eagerly anticipated Varsity Football game.