I got a serious bashing from the UWC fans on twitter after I rightly predicted that their team would go down to Wits in their Round Two encounter last week. They mentioned that in the teams’ two past meetings, Wits had never beaten UWC. But one thing that we have learned for sure in this competition, is that the form books have to be thrown out of the window.
This competition is full of surprises. UWC and their fans relied on the form books against Wits. But guess what, he who laughs last laughs the loudest. As it turned out UWC lost 2-1 to Wits and their away from deteriorated to a whole new level. Anyway, enough about that – it’s another week for UWC to prove a point by bouncing back.
Round Two matches produced tight matches and the teams that did clinch the three points were made to sweat for them. We are heading into another exciting round of matches on an important day on the history of our calendar on Women’s Day. We hope that it will rain goals as we celebrate this special day. Here are my round three predictions.
NWU 3-1 Limpopo
Limpopo registered their first point of this year’s campaign when they produced a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the famous township of Turfloop against title favourites TUT. They will hope to build on that brave performance in their tough encounter against a team that boasts a 100% record in Mafikeng.
With two back-to-back wins to their name, NWU are without a doubt the overwhelming favourites to collect the maximum points. The atmosphere in Mafikeng intimidates visiting teams and that will make the boys from Limpopo nervous, and leak goals. NWU will look to the form books heading into this match.
UJ 2-1 Wits
This match has the elements of being a humdinger. Fasten your seatbelts, we are in for a cracker in Soweto. Wits have surprised themselves with their best start, having won their opening two matches. They are going to an intimidating Soweto campus with their tails up.
This is possibly the right time for Wits to make the short trip to Soweto, South Africa’s biggest township, given their form and confidence. From Wits fans’ perspective, their team will pull an ace from their sleeve to stun UJ.
UJ surrendered the potential three points against Tuks to settle for a 1-1 draw at the same venue last week.
It’s also a battle of two unbeaten teams in the competition. But sadly one will lose that record at the end of a gruelling 90 minutes. Expect a knife’s-edge football match.
UP-Tuks 2-0 UKZN
UKZN blew their home ground advantage not once but twice and they are scratching their heads for dropping six points at home. They must brace themselves for a long night in the capital city of Mzansi. Losing two matches has put them on the back foot and they will have to be at their best to leave Pretoria with something – even a point will do in this case. The odds are heavily stacked against the visitors. They will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat in Hatfield.
But then again, football is not played on paper. Anything is possible in football; Tuks are not invisible as they have already been beaten at home on the competition’s opening day by TUT.
Tuks have made a slow start but salvaging a draw against a stubborn UJ in their previous match is a step in the right direction. Tuks have to step up a gear and start showing the potential of a team that won the title last season.
UWC 1-1 TUT
UWC have earned the tag of ‘Bad Travellers’, but at home they are a different kettle of fish. Well, they are at home against last year’s finalists TUT. They call UWC’s home the Slaughter House and some say it’s an Operation Room. But TUT is not an opponent that can be tossed aside just like that. UWC have made it hard for themselves and now they face an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout round.
TUT have the potential to collect all three points. UWC have it all to do as this is a match that they can’t afford to lose. They have a way to get the job done in front of their passionate home crowd. This is game that requires them to rise to the occasion.
TUT are slowly finding their feet and a draw will feel like a win in the Mother City. But UWC will push them hard and test their usually rigid defence.
By Charles Baloyi – Daily Sun and Sunday Sun Sports writer