Tuks Send Madibaz Packing
UP-Tuks knocked NMMU out and secured a Varsity Football semifinal spot of their own with a 4-0 victory in Pretoria.
The convincing win means that the defending champions finished third on the standings and will travel to Mafikeng to face NWU in their semifinal next week, whilst UJ will host Kovsies in the other play-off match.
The defeat signalled the end of the road for last year's beaten finalists NMMU who needed a draw to make the semifinals.
Both sides came out firing as they looked to gain control of the match early on, and there were chances at both ends that were not taken.
The home side did not waste much time as they took the lead with a thunderbolt free kick from Jeremiah Nkwana which flew into the top right corner, and added another soon afterwards as Simbongile Njokwe rose highest to nod home a header from a corner.
That put them 2-0 up after just 14 minutes of action, leaving the visitors with plenty of work to do with their play-off hopes fading fast.
NMMU started to build some pressure as they looked to work their way back into the game, but they battled to find the target and trouble UP-Tuks goalkeeper Lebo Ngubeni.
Instead it would be the hosts to extend their lead as a cross from Lucky Mathosi saw NMMU defender Lundi Balfour put the ball into his own net under pressure from Richard Moremi.
That saw the defending champions take a commanding 3-0 lead into the half-time break, leaving the Madibaz with a mountain to climb to claim a spot in the play-offs.
NMMU pressed hard in the second half, but they battled to find a way through against a confident UP-Tuks outfit that looked more likely to score.
The final goal came in extra time as Thabo Ndlovu dribbled NMMU goalkeeper Lyndsay Jennings to put the final nail in NMMU's coffin.
FNB man of the match: Richard Moremi
Samsung Super Striker: Jeremiah Nkwana
For UP-Tuks: Jeremiah Nkwana, Simbongile Njokwe, Lundi Balfour (og), Thabo Ndlovu
UP-Tuks: 32 Lebo Ngubeni, 4 Lawrence Ntswane, 8 Nicholas Killas, 13 Lindsay Stowman, 20 Thabo Ndlovu, 10 Jeremiah Nkwana, 11 Richard Moremi, 5 Simbongile Njokwe, 15 Jarryd Van Den Berg, 9 Mbongeni Masilela, 18 Lucky Mathosi.
Substitutes: 1 Dylan Paterson, 6 Khumbulani Siluma, 12 Phuthego Mabitsela, 7 Luke Steyl, 22 Dean Wilkinson, 2 Botshelo Mfulwane, 23 Vuze-Umuze Khoza.
NMMU: 24 Lyndsay Jennings, 12 Onela Beqezi, 5 Athini Bisha, 16 Lundi Balfour, 13 Vuyolwethu Marele, 19 Karabo Motlhabi, 6 Kurt Duff (captain), 10 Cloudius Sangandira, 18 Olwethu Ngako, 14 Simamkele Thobi, 8 Lukhanyo Rasmeni.
Substitutes: 1 Matthew Booysen, 21 Kevin Kevido, 4 Zukisani Mtendeni, 20 Litha Fingo, 7 Sachin Jackson, 11 Kieran Koert, 9 Lukhanyo Ndabeta.