Varsity Champs Curse Cape Wind
UP-Tuks coach, Evangelos Vellios, has blamed Cape Town’s notorious gale-force wind for their 2-1 defeat to UWC on Monday night.
Stormy conditions proved pivotal to the Cape team’s success and Vellios has since lauded UWC for using the elements to their advantage.
The Varsity Football title holders struggled to hold on to their lead after scoring early in the first-half only to see the home side equalise and seal the game with a winning goal in the last minute.
“We haven’t really had the greatest of campaigns. In the first half we were the better team. The wind was in our favour, but after scoring we became a bit complacent and disjointed and in the second half they started turning up the heat,” he said.
Vellios also lamented losing goalkeeper Lebo Ngobeni, who was substituted after a collision and has now gone for stitches in his mouth.
“Lebo had to go off and that affected the defence a bit. We couldn’t keep the ball in their half and found ourselves pinned.
“It was very disappointing to concede the goal in the last minute. For me the wind was so intense, it really played a factor, especially in the second half because it just got stronger and UWC used that to their advantage,” he added.
The pragmatic coach has made it clear that UP-Tuks’ next fixture against the NMMU-Madibaz is a must-win match. Tukkies are in fourth place and one of three teams in the top five on ten points. Vellios knows only a victory will secure them a spot in the semi-finals.
“We are not down. Next week will be like a quarter-final for us. We must win, it’s as simple as that. We will break down their strengths and weaknesses this week and prepare well for that game,” he said.
Good news for UP-Tuks is that their influential captain, Robin Swartz, will be back after recovering from an injury which kept him sidelined.
“Our captain Robin will be back and that’s a big boost for us because we know it’s going to be a battle in midfield. Robin is a key player for us. He’s our captain and a real warrior, so we’re glad he’s back in action,” Vellios explained.
UP-Tuks welcome the Madibaz to Pretoria next week in their quest to keep their hands on the Varsity Football trophy for the second year running.