A late strike from Tshenolo Machwisa saw NWU secure a nail-biting 2-1 victory over a hard-working UWC side in Mafikeng.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break thanks to a scorching strike from Sylvester Moses, but the Cape side drew level thanks to a Curtley Beukes goal late in the second half before Machwisa sealed victory with his match-winning effort.
NWU made an assured start to the game, moving the ball around well and forcing UWC to chase shadows in the opening exchanges.
UWC striker Curtley Beukes caused the home team’s defence a few headaches with some powerful runs down the right side, but opportunities were few and far between as NWU dominated possession.
The pressure finally told when a corner was knocked short to Moses who unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box to find the bottom left corner and give NWU a 1-0 lead.
The visitor’s opportunities were limited to the counter attack as they looked to catch the NWU defence napping, but the home side were looking just as threatening with striker Thabo Mnyamane pulling a shot just wide of goal.
To their credit UWC continued to push hard, but they lacked the accuracy in the attacking third to make their opportunities count and level the scores as NWU took their 1-0 lead into half-time.
The home side started the second half with real intent as they looked to secure a two-goal cushion, and Mnyamane had a few great opportunities to do just that at the back post but could not find the target.
They were made to pay for their innacuracy in front of goal when UWC grabbed a late equaliser through the hard-working Beukes.
The UWC striker showed great control to bring the ball down in the box and calmly slotted the ball past Tebogo Mosia in the NWU goal to level the scores and silence the large crowd.
However, NWU kept their composure and were rewarded when a clinical late strike from Machwisa handed them a deserved 2-1 victory.
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FNB man of the match: Sylvester Moses
For NWU: Sylvester Moses, Tshenolo Machwisa
For UWC: Curtley Beukes
NWU: 98 Tebogo Mosia, 3 Kenneth Bodibe, 23 Tshenolo Machwisa, 21 Junior Leeuw, 5 Kyle Amon, 24 Lebogang Phetlu, 8 Shane April, 6 Luthando Ntokwenzani, 4 Xola Mlambo, 20 Sylvester Moses, 10 Thabo Mnyamane.
Reserves: 16 Calvin Ntshudisane, 7 Sipho Mateis, 13 Zakhele Mashiyi, 17 Sandile Mbatha, 14 Ryan van der Westhuizen, 45 Kagiso Modimoeng, 15 Matsobane Matsi.
UWC: 1 Basikelele Mdletye, 2 Vincent Sobekwa, 5 Cleo Pokpas, 4 Robbin Swartz, 23 Robin van Rensburg, 6 Siseko Lapi, 8 Thando Ziwele, 22 Xolisa Sigenu, 20 Lungelo Nokele, 9 Curtley Buekes, 11 Oupa Sawukazi.
Reserves: 16 Mthobeli Lithiko, 14 Akhona Bonga, 10 Tapelo Sixishe, 7 Sinovuyo Ranana, 15 Unathi Segodi, 25 Reon October, 17 Mfundo Majola.