TUT caught UJ cold in their Varsity Football clash in Soweto on Thursday, then held on to claim a 2-0 victory to put them top of the table.
Within two minutes of the start, Wisdom Mathebula delivered a long-range pass to Ronald Mabasa in the UJ box. The TUT striker turned Aidan Basiak inside out before slotting past goalkeeper Alan Mabuza’s right hand to make the score 1-0.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 to the visitors, when Mathebula again turned provider. That said, Thabiso Lebitso deserves the majority of the praise for burying a volley from a tight angle.
UJ would have been expected to drop their heads but they didn’t. Buoyed by the growing crowd at their Soweto-based home ground, they put pressure on the TUT rearguard.
Half-chance after half-chance resulted, without a clear opening past Sikhumbuzo Ncube in TUT’s goal emerging.
As a result the half-time score remained UJ 0 TUT 2, but the hosts had the territorial and attacking numbers in their favour. But would they make it count in the second half?
They tried as gamely, spending large portions of the second 45 minutes in TUT’s half, but ultimately had nothing to show for it.
UJ coach Mandla Zwane even made his three substitutions early during their second half, without them having the hoped-for impact.
TUT for their part, would argue that they kept the Orange Army at arm’s length, withstanding anything thrown at them. The fact that they claimed all three post-match awards would arguably also back up such an argument.
Be that as it may, UJ will rue the fact that they were not switched on at the start of the match otherwise they may have given the defending champions a sterner test of their credentials.
Instead, a double-header at Tuks Stadium – during where both teams will be involved – lies ahead.
UJ (0) 0
TUT (2) 0 Ronald Mabasa, Thabiso Lebitso
UJ: 27. Alan Mabuza (GK), 17. Sihle Mbele, 4. Lesego Sebetlela, 13. Aidan Basiak, 14. Thabang Lebese, 2. Nkosinathi Sibiya, 21. Gerald Ndlovu, 6. Sphesihle Mbhele (capt), 5. Preston McKay, 25. Keegan Faver, 11. Kamohelo Molatlhegi.
Replacements: 28. Richard Lona (GK), 20. Prince Matje, 24. Lebogang Mosiane, 10. Sibusiso Dlamini, 8. Phelelani Mvelase, 7. Junior Makhubele, 23. Lebone Lephiri.
TUT: 20. Sikhumbuzo Ncube (GK), 2. Tumelo Mphela, 16. Boipelo Molale, 5. Mogau Mphahlele, 3. Rorisang Rapelang (capt), 6. Thuso Mlamla, 17. Brian Tshoba, 4. Wisdom Mathebula, 13. Lebogang Phatlane, 10. Thabiso Lebitso, 15. Ronald Mabasa.
Replacements: 1. Rorisang Mpoza (GK), 8. Tebogo Lekaba, 11. Moses Lehlomela, 21. Tlotlo Afrika, 22. Ogorositswe Tabane, 27. Hendrick Xaba, 19. Steven Mvenya.
FNB Player of the Match: Boipelo Molale (TUT)
Debonairs Pizza Real Deal Save of the Match: Sikhumbuzo Ncube (TUT)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Thabiso Lebitso (TUT)