Road To The Semis: UP-Tuks And TUT
The road to the semifinals for Varsity Football's two Pretoria sides has been a tough, but they have also been two of the competition's most impressive sides on occasions.
Defending champions UP-Tuks and TUT played out a goalless draw in Round One and since that match they have racked up identical figures for wins, losses and draws. They will play in Thursday's first semifinal.
After that draw against TUT, Tuks' defence of their title was put under immense pressure after they lost 1-2 to UWC in Round Two. However, two wins in a row against the tournament's two bottom teams NMMU and Walter Sisulu University gave them some much needed momentum for their last three games.
Tuks had one more hiccup in Round Five when they went lost to a spirited Wits team before going on to win their last two games against fellow semifinal hopefuls NWU-Pukke and VUT to reach the semifinals.
After failing to get a win against their rivals in Round One, TUT made a big statement with a 3-1 over WSU in Round Two. However, their season was turned on its head when they were thrashed 0-3 by newcomers VUT, which was a big surprise.
Two wins against NMMU and Wits put them back on track for a place in the top four before they too fell against log leaders UWC in Cape Town in their penultimate game.
Their last game against NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom was a straight knockout game with the winner being assured of a place in the Final. TUT put in one of their best performances of the tournament on that day and won 2-0 to setup a semifinal with Tuks.
If you look at Tuks and TUT's performance against fellow top four finishes UWC and Wits then one will notice some similarities and difference. Both lost to log leaders UWC in Cape Town, while Tuks lost at home to Wits and TUT beat Wits away from home in Johannesburg.
There is nothing to choose between these two teams, however home ground advantage might just give Tuks the edge on the day.