A late goal from Lukhanyo Rasmeni saw NMMU seal a spot in the Varsity Football final with a 1-0 victory over TUT in Pretoria.
It was TUT’s first defeat of the season, after they ended the league phase of the competition on top of the log, but their campaign ended in heartbreak as Rasmeni’s late strike silenced the enthusiastic home crowd.
The victory means that the Madibaz go into the final against UP-Tuks in Pretoria next week as the only unbeaten side in the tournament.
The match got off to a tentative start as the teams felt each other out, but it was clear that there would be no holding back with both sides looking to stamp their authority.
TUT started stringing some passes together as they found some confidence going forward, but they were being closed down quickly by the committed Madibaz defence.
NMMU goalkeeper Lyndsay Jennings was kept busy by a few long range shots from outside the box, but he was equal to the challenge and kept his composure well.
TUT were enjoying incredible support from their loyal home fans who packed the stadium, but despite dominating possession they were kept at bay by the determined Madibaz.
NMMU started creating a few chances of their own as their forwards Cloudius Sagandira and Leroy van Rensburg ran hard at the TUT defence, but they could not find a way through either and they went into the half-time break deadlocked at 0-0.
The visitors started the second half with real intent and Van Rensburg got a shot away but pulled it wide of the goal before TUT goalkeeper King Ndlovu was tested by a stinging shot from Sagandira.
Both teams were fighting hard for the ball and as a result possession changed hands quite often as they looked for the opening goal.
It came with just over ten minutes remaining as Lukhanyo Rasmeni popped up on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot into the back of the TUT net, silencing the home crowd as the Madibaz took a late 1-0 lead.
TUT threw everything at the visitors in a desperate attempt to equalise, but it was not to be as NMMU held on for victory.
FNB man of the match: Lukhanyo Rasmeni
For NMMU: Lukhanyo Rasmeni
TUT: 1 King Ndlovu, 19 Mbongeni Mpanza, 8 Kgotso Mohlomi, 5 Elliot Seema, 2 Themba Nkosi, 13 Oneth Mhangwana, 4 Khuliso Rashamuse, 10 Andrew Mashigo, 16 Selby Madibana, 15 Doctor Radebe, 9 Botshelo Mfulwane.
Reserves: 18 Solly Matlou, 12 Khomotso Selemela, 6 Khomotso Ledwaba, 11 Sizwe Khumalo, 6 Sidney Seromo, 20 Enos Mokoana, 17 Msizi Zungu.
NMMU: 16 Lyndsay Jennings, 20 Lundi Balfour, 13 Vuyolwethu Marele, 22 Niven Kops, 19 Lukhanyo Sompondo, 6 Kurt Duff, 17 Onneetse Leboifo, 8 Lukhanyo Rasmeni, 10 Cloudius Sagandira, 7 Leroy van Rensburg, 9 Alexander Owusu.
Reserves: 1 Enver Vogel, 25 Bradley Peterson, 21 Zukisani Mtendeni, 12 Onela Beqezi, 11 Kieran Koert, 4 Peter Thekisho, 3 Andile Mtyingizane.