Preview: The Big One!
After two months of competition, Varsity Football will come to a thrilling climax on Heritage Day in Cape Town when UWC hosts TUT in a contest to be crowned champions of 2015.
The match carries extra significance as not only new champions will be crowned after two-time defending champions UP-Tuks were knocked out in the semi-finals, but neither of these sides have contested the final before.
Hosts UWC have never made the play-offs, let alone the final, in their previous two attempts in the competition but have had an amazing run of form in 2015 which has seen them remain unbeaten at home to top the standings.
TUT, on the other hand, made the semifinal in 2013 but were knocked out by NMMU-Madibaz and returned to the showpiece event full of confidence. They have display an air of confidence from the very beginning and maintained they will not only reach the final but also claim the title before the first match got underway.
The sides have already met in Cape Town and that Round Six encounter ended with the Cape side claiming a 1-0 victory in a match that was always going to be settled by the odd goal.
Both UWC and TUT have had stellar defensive performances and conceded the same amount of goals (five) in their seven matches while UWC holds a slight edge over their Pretoria in terms of finding the back of the net. The Cape side have managed to score on 10 occasions while TUT have found the back of the net eight times.
Despite playing away from home, TUT will head into the match as the overwhelming favourites after all the coaches of the other six teams who participated in the tournament tipped the Pretoria side to claim victory by the odd goal.
They will have to heavily rely on their goalkeeper King Ndlovu to marshal their defence and maintain a tight ship while their attacking threat will come in the shape of midfielders Thabang Motau and 2015 Nedbank Ke Yona player Itumeleng Mogotsi.
Like their opponents, UWC will also be relying on their goalkeeper and captain Reon October to organise their already determined defence to maintain their high standards while he will be ably supported by central defender Ashwin Kounzie. Tapelo Sixishe and Thulani Mkosi, who is currently the front runner to claim the Player of the Tournament award, will lead the UWC attack with the likes of Josh Silent and Nhlanhla Manana in support.
While TUT may have the bigger names and the stars, UWC has an aura about them that seems impenetrable and they will certainly have the home crowd in full voice behind them.
The match gets underway at 17.30 at the UWC Stadium on Heritage Day (September 24) and will be broadcast live on Supersport channel 210.