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Varsity Football

NMMU: The Underachievers

NMMU-Madibaz are the second of three teams to have played in all three editions of the competition and a lot was expected of them in 2014 and 2015 after they reached the final of the 2013 tournament.
 
Although they failed to live up to the expectation of reaching the knock out phase of the competition in the previous two editions, they have been a consistent feature.
 
We take a look at their performances over the three years!
 
2013
 
This was by far their best year as they went unbeaten through the round-robin phase and suffered their only defeat in the final.
 
They bagged three wins and four draws to pick up 13 points, which was good enough to finish in fourth place and secure the final play-off spot. This meant they had the tough task of travelling to Pretoria to face TUT in the semi-final and came away from that fixture with a 1-0 victory to setup a final with eventual champions UP-Tuks.
 
In their seven matches, they managed to score 15 goals and concede just six. They were handed a 1-4 defeat in the final but they certainly had done enough for many people to take note of them.
 
2014
 
There was plenty of pressure on their shoulders to repeat the achievements of 2013 but despite them picking up the same amount victories, they fell agonizingly short of sneaking into the play-offs.
 
The Madibaz claimed three wins to match three defeats and picked up a draw, which saw them end their campaign in fifth place on 10 points. They scored 12 goals along the way but conceded the same amount, which contributed to a disappointing season.
 
2015
 
By far the worst performance of their Varsity Football stint as they picked up just one victory, two draws and suffered four defeats.
 
It was certainly their toughest and most challenging campaign as well, as they were forced to play five of their seven matches away from home due to the upgrading of the lights at the NMMU Stadium.
 
They were also very goal shy during the tournament, as they could only find the back of the net on three occasions - two of which came in their final match, a 2-1 victory over log leaders UWC - while they leaked nine goals to finish in seventh place.
 
The Port Elizabeth side will need to undergo a massive overhaul if they are to return to the success of 2013 but we will have to wait until at least 2017 to see them back in the competition after they failed to qualify for the 2016 edition.

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