Ndlovu Heroics Sinks Tuks
TUT advanced to their first ever Varsity Football Final after beating defending champions UP-Tuks 4-1 on penalties in Thursday's first semifinal.
TUT keeper King Ndlovu was the hero after scoring one penalty and saving two after a hard-fought goalless draw.
TUT had most of the ball in the opening minutes with Itumeleng Mogotsi showing just why he is such a big talent in South Africa. However, it was the home side who had the game's first real chance when Tebogo Galane got to the end of a great cross in third minute but could get no power behind his header.
Tuks slowly but sure started to stamp their authority on the game and in the eighth minute Tuks’ Lindsay Stowman nearly had an opportunity in front of goal after a TUT mistake in defence.
TUT had their opportunities to try and create something, but the best chances continued to fall to Tuks. Jeremiah Nkwana tried a one of his long range specials, but it went over the crossbar. Not long after that Stowman had the game's best opportunity in the 13th minute when his shot was saved by King Ndlovu.
Galane continued to cause problems for the TUT defence with his big presence and in the 26th minute he narrowly missed the TUT goal with a header after beating Ndlovu to the ball in the air.
TUT played some of their best football in the final fifteen minutes of that half, but were caught offside on a number of occasions in the final third.
Thabang Masiteng did have a clear shot at goal for the away side but it was easily saved by Dylan Patterson. A few minutes later Claudio de Almeida fired a shot at the other end of the park, but it went just wide of TUT goal
Ndlovu then handed free kick specialist Nkwana a chance a few minutes before half-time after he handled the ball outside his box. However, Nkwana’s shot found the TUT wall.
It was a positive start by both teams in the second half, but Tuks still had the best chances on goal. Nicholas Killas thought he get a breakthrough in the 51st minute, but his shot did not trouble the TUT keeper.
Galane then setup up Stowman in the TUT box, but the midfielder’s shot went agonisingly wide in what should have been the game's first goal. It seems Stowman could not buy a goal in this game after he got yet another chance ten minutes later, but hit shot found the TUT keeper's hands instead of the back of the net.
It was a tense final 15 minutes in the game with both teams not risking pushing too many forward.
The game eventually ended goalless and had to be settled with penalties.
It was all TUT during the penalty kicks with King Ndlovu giving his team the advantage after getting the first score before saving Nkwana's shot. Tuks never recovered after that and only managed one more score with TUT firing home each of their penalty kicks.
Samsung Super Striker: King Ndlovu
FNB Man of the Match: Lindsay Stowman
For UP-Tuks: None
For TUT: None
Yellow Cards: Simbongile Njokwe (UP-Tuks), King Ndlovu (TUT)
UP-Tuks: 32 Dylan Patterson, 3 Robin Swartz (captain), 8 Nicholas Killas, 13 Lindsay Stowman, 12 Phuthego Mabitsela, 21 Khumbulani Siluma, 15 Claudio De Almeida, 5 Simbongile Njokwe, 4 Lawrence Ntswane, 10 Jeremiah Nkwana, 14 Tebogo Galane.
Substitutes: 1 Jason Stanton, 11 Richard Moremi, 20 Thabo Ndlovu, 17 Katlego Motlhatsang, 16 Wandile Makhanya, 9 Mbongeni Masilela, 19 Frank Mpedi.
TUT: 1 King Ndlovu, 17 Thabang Motau, 3 Khomotso Ledwaba, 15 Phineas Raphela, 5 Elliot Seema (captain), 6 Sipho Sibiya, 10 Itumeleng Mogotsi, 7 Selby Madibana, 9 Themba Ndlovu, 12 Masonwabe Sokanyile, 16 Tshepo Simelane
Substitutes: 20 Lloyd Morulane, 4 Rorisang Rapelang, 2 Thabang Masiteng, 13 Thabang Mahlangu, 18 Mogau Mphahlele, 23 Sidney Seromo, 8 Thato Santos.