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Varsity Football

CUT – The Surprise Package

Not many teams have been able to enter uncharted waters and hold their own against seasoned teams but the Central University of Technology have done just that in their debut season.

Not much was known about them at the beginning of the campaign but it soon became evident they were going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Their opening round 2-0 victory over Fort Hare raised some eyebrows as they played fast, attacking football but it was the next four rounds of matches that made the Varsity Football fraternity sit up and take notice.

That opening round victory was followed by two draws in Round Two and Three, respectively. They travelled to Johannesburg and managed to hold UJ to a goalless draw, before hitting the road once again, this time to Cape Town, where they managed a 2-2 draw with defending champions UWC.

Then came two massive victories in Round Four and Five – their first matches at their home ground.

CUT bagged a 2-1 victory over 2015 semi-finalists Wits, before claiming their biggest scalp, a 3-2 victory over two-time champions UP Tuks. They continued playing their attacking brand of football, which saw thousands of supporters flock to the CUT stadium.

Headed by Bloem Celtic's "shower cap" supporters, the grand stand was filled to capacity and the resonance of song and dance became the unofficial 12th man. The Bloemfontein side, who were on a clear high at this point, were brought down to earth with a humbling 0-4 defeat at the hands of a rampant TUT.

This left them needing just one point from their final round-robin match to sew up second place on the log, and a guaranteed home semi-final. They did just that as they played out to a goalless draw with NWU-Mafikeng.

At the conclusion of the round-robin matches, CUT bagged three victories, three draws and a solitary loss to make up their 12 points, scoring nine goals along the way and conceding the same number of strikes.

By wrapping up second place on the log, they will now face third-placed UJ in the play-offs for a place in the final. There remains an outside chance that they could host the final should they claim victory and the other semi-final goes their way.

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