Road To The Semis: UWC And Wits
UWC and Wits have had contrasting journeys to this year's semifinals with one finishing on top of the standings and the other sneaking in with a victory in the final round.
UWC were the dominant team throughout the league phase of the tournament, racking up five wins, a draw and loss. They did not start the tournament well however, as they were outplayed by semifinal opponents Wits in a goalless draw in Round One.
The Cape then went on a five-match winning streak, which all but sealed their spot in the semifinals with two rounds remaining. Four of those five matches were in Cape Town and against quality opposition as well.
They bagged impressive home wins against defending champions UP-Tuks, Walter Sisulu University and VUT before travelling to Potchefstroom for a top of the table clash against NWU-Pukke, which they also won.
They returned to Cape Town for a tough match against TUT in Round Five, but again they showed that they mean business this season when they won 1-0. They did lose their final game against NMMU in the final round, but they were assure of top spot by then.
After their draw against UWC, Wits beat NMMU in Johannesburg before two losses in a row against NWU-Pukke and TUT.
With their season hanging in the balance and with some change in tactics, Wits then put in a season defining performance against UP-Tuks in Pretoria in Round Five to emerge 2-1 victors.
The win gave Wits the confidence that they could still make the play-offs and after another impressive win on the road against VUT in Round Six, they were just three points away from their goal with one game remaining.
WSU made it difficult for them in that final game, but Wits quality eventually shone through and they won 2-1 after going a goal behind.
Wits do have the momentum going into this semifinal, but UWC do have the advantage of playing on their notorious bumpy pitch in wet conditions in Bellville. We should be in for an exciting contest between these two teams.