UWC Can Handle The Big Occasion
UWC have shown throughout this year's Varsity Football tournament that they can win the big games when it matters.
Under the tutelage of head coach Salie Adams the Cape side went unbeaten for much of their campaign before a 1-2 Round Seven loss to the NMMU Madibaz in Port Elizabeth. However, by that game they had already secured top spot and were just waiting to see who they had to play in the semifinals.
It is still surprising to imagine that UWC are still the underdogs for the final against TUT even though they are at home and have beaten the Pretoria side already this season.
TUT were just one of the so called bigger teams that UWC upset in this year's competition. After a Round One goalless draw with Wits they then beat tournament favourites and defendng champions UP-Tuks 2-1 in Bellville.
It was that game against Tuks where we saw the rise of two of UWC's key players in this year's tournament - they were Thulani Mkosi and Tapelo Sixishe. Mkosi is currently on track to be named Player of the tournament.
UWC then saw off the threat of a plucky Walter Sisulu University side in Round Three with a convincing 3-1 win before getting their third win a row against fellow semifinal contenders VUT 2-1 in Round Four.
There Round Five encounter against NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom was billed as a top of the table clash and again UWC emerged victorious thanks largely due to the exploits of star defender Ashwin Kounzie. Kounzie was not only brilliant on defence, but also scored the winner on that day.
UWC's were put under the pump in their Round Six game against TUT, but miraculously got the only goal of the game to win the match and secure top spot.
The Cape side might of been a little complacent in that final league game against the Madibaz. It might also have even been a wakeup call heading into their semifinal encounter with Wits.
That semifinal against the Johannesburg side was a pressure cooker of a match and the result had to be decided in a penalty shootout. Here again another player stood out and this time it was captain and goalkeeper Reon October who pulled off a great save in the shootout to bring his side back into it after going down early in the spot kicks. They eventually won the game off a dramatic final penalty kick.
TUT might be the favourites, but UWC have the mental toughness to get the win in what will be the biggest game of the university's history.