NMMU showed great character to fight back against a 10-man NWU to secure a 1-1 draw in Mafikeng.
Burly NWU striker Otlaarongwa Rantese gave his side the first half lead before being sent from the field for a dangerous tackle, which gave the visitors the opportunity they needed to grab a late equaliser.
The result means that the Madibaz maintain their unbeaten Varsity Football record, whilst the highly-rated NWU will be frustrated at dropping two points at home.
The match got off to a shaky start as both teams battled to find their rhythm early on, with a few shots going wide of goal.
The visitors pressed hard as they looked to rush NWU on the ball and force some errors, but they battled to contain the free-running Luthando Ntokwenzani who looked dangerous down the right wing.
NMMU striker Cloudius Sagandira ran hard at the NWU defence, using his pace and power to cause a few anxious moments for the home fans, but it would be NWU who opened the scoring through Rantese.
The big striker got the ball at the top of the box and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike that sailed into the top right corner, leaving NMMU goalkeeper Lyndsay Jennings with no chance and handing his side a 1-0 lead.
That signalled a period of dominance from the home side as they took the game to NMMU and showed some deft touches in the process to the delight of the large crowd.
To their credit, NMMU continued to work hard as they looked for an equaliser before half-time, but they could not find the goal despite enjoying a few good chances and NWU took a 1-0 advantage into the break.
The home side came out firing in the second half as they looked to secure a two-goal cushion, but the NMMU defence absorbed the pressure well and they were able to respond with a stinging free-kick from Leroy van Rensburg which was beaten away by NWU goalkeeper Tebogo Mosia.
The home side suffered a major blow as they were reduced to 10 men for the last half hour when goalscorer Rantese went from hero to villain after being shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Niven Kops.
Despite that setback the home side were able to keep the intensity up as Ntokwenzani continued to harrass the Madibaz defence, but NMMU eventually made use of their advantage as replacement Kieran Koert followed up well on a ball that bounced off the bar to stroke home the equaliser in the 82nd minute.
NWU desperately searched for a late winner but it was not to be as they were forced to share the spoils with a determined NMMU side.
FNB Man of the match: Niven Kops
For NWU: Otlaarongwa Rantese
For NMMU: Kieran Koert
NWU: 98 Tebogo Mosia, 3 Kenneth Bodibe, 21 Junior Leeuw, 5 Kyle Amon, 13 Zakhele Mashiyi, 9 Otlaarongwa Rantese, 8 Shane April, 15 Matsobane Matsi, 6 Luthando Ntokwenzani, 4 Xola Mlambo, 10 Thabo Mnyamane.
Reserves: 16 Calvin Ntshudisane, 7 Sipho Mateis, 23 Machwisa Tshenolo, 24 Lebogang Phetlu, 17 Sandile Mbatha, 20 Sylvester Moses, 14 Ryan van der Westhuizen.
NMMU: 16 Lyndsay Jennings, 20 Lundi Balfour, 3 Andile Mtyingizane, 22 Niven Kops, 19 Lukhanyo Sompondo, 6 Kurt Duff, 2 Lindsay Stowman, 17 Onneetse Leboifo, 10 Cloudius Sagandira, 7 Leroy van Rensburg, 13 Vuoyolwethu Marele.
Reserves: 1 Mfundo Moyikwa, 21 Zukisani Mtendeni, 5 Cornelius Matuoane, 4 Peter Thekisho, 11 Kieran Koert, 25 Bradley Peterson, 8 Lukhanyo Rasmeni.