With the game looking destined for a draw, CUT broke the hearts of the UKZN team and their faithful by claiming a dramatic 3-1 victory in Durban.
In a windy day down in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, the stage was set for both teams to redeem themselves after they both began their respective seasons in defeat.
The match began slowly and technical as both teams looked compact, refusing to concede any early goal.
However, after a slow start to the match, it was the away side that got the early edge after the home sides reckless defending which allowed Phiwokuhle Mpalala in the 19th minute an easy tap in which put the away team 1-0 up – and score his record-equalling 12th Varsity Football goal.
The two teams continued to attack each other but the away side managed to control play and take the men from Free State to halftime on the lead.
The men from KZN seemed to have clearly heard the instructions from coaches at halftime as they began the second half of the encounter on a high.
In the 64th minute, UKZN’s high pressing football was rewarded after Bongumenzi Zulu was taken down in the box giving the home side a life-line. It was the same man, Bongumenzi Zulu, who took the penalty and buried it to level the score at 1-1. The home fans, unsurprisingly, were set alight!
UKZN then continued to press forward and were nearly rewarded in a couple of incidents. That said, in the 85th minute, there was drama when the away side put the ball in the back of the net – only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
The home fans were thrilled!
Little did they know that the tables were soon going to turn as the referee added five minutes of stoppage time.
Lack of concentration in added time saw the away team snatch all three points. First visiting captain Keitumetse Mabathoana scored in the 91st minute, and then Mothusi Madilola added gloss to make it 3-1 in the 95th minute.
For UKZN it was a second teaching of the same lesson as last week they also suffered defeat in the closing stages…
UKZN (0) 1 Bongumenzi Zulu pen
CUT (1) 3 Phiwokuhle Mpalala, Keitumetse Mabathoana, Mothusi Madilola
UKZN: 1. Thandolwakhe Radebe (GK), 12. Bhekabambo Mkhize, 3. Siphesihle Sokhela, 4. Lungani Nhlengethwa (capt), 16. Thobani Maseko, 25. Siphamandla Sosibo, 7. Nkosinathi Sibeko, 6. Mzwandile Mkhize, 28. Mthobisi Mathaba 10. Philakahle Dlamini, 9. Bongumenzi Zulu.
Replacements: 20. Banele Kubeka (GK), 24. Nkosinathi Sosibo, 26. Lungisani Shange, 21. Siphelele Mbewana, 13. Bheka Ncube, 18. Ziyanda Ndlovu, 11. Khumbulani Mbokazi.
CUT: 1. Thabo Samuel (GK), 3. Waydelio Links, 7. Malefetsane Nkaki, 22. Itumeleng Chelopo, 15. Morena Lehloa, 8. Thabo Mokhele, 23. Mpho Molwatse, 12. Thapelo Moono, 2. Phiwokuhle Mpalala, 10. Keitumetse Mabathoana (capt), 11. Khauhelo Ramotsoenyane.
Replacements: 28. Mpho Motsoahole (GK), 13. Thabang Khopane, 5. Thabang Khesa, 25. Mothusi Madilola, 19. Oratile Mothibedi, 14. Pule Thaele, 4, Tsietsi Ramosedi.
FNB Player of the Match: Mpho Molwatse (CUT)
Debonairs Pizza Real Deal Save of the Match: Thandolwakhe Radebe (UKZN)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Keitumetse Mabathoana (CUT)
By Mpendulo Letsoalo