Most people are of the view that the 2018 Varsity Football final is for TUT to lose. On paper the Red Machine should just walk the title decider and return to the capital with the grand football title. TUT have won once and lost once. They will play in their third cup final in six years. Here are the reasons why they should win the title.
TUT lost the cup final before
TUT lost the cup final in Cape Town against UWC despite being the overwhelming favourites a couple of years ago. That defeat in the Mother City will be in the back of their minds when they tackle surprise finalists Wits. TUT have learnt from their mistakes and they will not allow another title to slip through their grasp. There is a strong feeling that this is their year and losing this title will mean that they have dismally failed in their attempt to win more than one title.
TUT want to get closer to cross-town rivals Tuks
UP-Tuks are the most successful team in the competition with three titles. TUT and UWC are the other two teams that have managed to lift the trophy. Nothing will make TUT happy than to get closer to their neighbours in terms of titles in the competition. This cup final offers them a perfect opportunity to get closer to Tuks by winning a second title. That is a big motivation on its own and the players will go all out to snatch a second title.
TUT have already beaten Wits away from home
The Red Machine came out on top in a six-goal thriller when they defeated Wits 4-2 at the Milpark Stadium in a round robin match. Wits had excuses after they big defeat claiming that they had rested six key players in that game as they had already secured their place in the knockout stages. But a win is a win and that victory will serve as a big morale booster for TUT. The Red Machine have gone to Wits and claimed a win, which will motivate TUT to do it again.
Playing away from home doesn’t faze TUT
TUT handled their punishment of playing all their 2018 Varsity Football matches away from home with aplomb. The Red Machine lost just one game all season against mini league winners UJ in Soweto. They didn’t show any signs of missing their fortress and they picked up more when it mattered the most and booked a spot in the cup final against all odds. For those who don’t know, TUT fans caused havoc when their team lost 2-0 to UP-Tuks in last year’s final at their base in Pretoria West. As part of punishment for their misbehaving fans, TUT were made to play their entire season of this year’s edition away from home. But that did not deter them as they still booked a cup final spot.
TUT will bank on their cup final experience
Stage fright will not be an issue for the Red Machine. This will be their third final and that makes them favourites. Most of their players have been down this road before and it shouldn’t be a big deal to go to Wits and play in front of a packed crowd. They have the experience of winning and losing a cup final. So TUT are expected to win and add another title to their names.
By Charles Baloyi – Daily Sun and Sunday Sun Sports Writer