UP-Tuks were able to overcome a plucky UCT team that took the lead early on only for the stars from Pretoria to fightback 2-1 in Cape Town.
In a game that Tuks would have been targeting, they were left a little stunned when Michael Salgado scored the first goal against them.
Slowly the defending champions fought their way back into the game and it was only a matter of time before they equalized and then took the lead.
UCT’s defence deserves praise for showing incredible heart against a team that has such star-quality.
It did not take UCT long to test out the UP-Tuks keeper, a stinging shot came in before the first minute was up but it found its way straight to the shot-stopper’s hands.
Right from the outset the game looked to be a physical one with Byron Donaldson from UCT having to step off the field with a bloody nose after a clash in the box.
Tuks soon wrestled back the momentum from UCT’s early flourish – Lucky Mathosi and Lawrence Ntswane both having a crack at goal but both shots were with too wide or too high.
A little against the run of play it was UCT’s super striker, Michael Salgado, who managed to grab an early goal after a well worked move down the left hand flank, Salgado took the ball neatly in the box and slotted it across the face of the keeper into the bottom right-hand corner.
UCT took the initiative after their first goal and piled on the pressure with good attacking runs coming from all over the field.
As the half drew on the momentum seemed to ebb and flow between the two teams with multiple wasted opportunities coming from free-kicks and corners.
Finally, it was Mathosi, another goal scorer from last week, who was able to level things up with a headed goal. A long range free-kick found Mathosi in the right spot as he rose above the rest to slot a goal past keeper Bevan Adonis
After that goal, UCT looked as if the wind had been taken out of their sails with Tuks’ attacks becoming more frequent and dangerous.
With the half almost over the referee was forced to Yellow Card Salgado after he kept on verbally abusing some of the Tuks players. Tensions were definitly high with the game on a knife-edge.
At half time the game stood dead-locked at 1-1
Tuks came out for the second-half full of fire as they looked to take the advantage, it was UCT who were left scrambling to clear their box over and over again.
Tensions remained high in the second half with the referee getting busy trying to calm the boys down.
UCT’s keeper Adonis was called on to make an incredible save after a bullet of a shot found its way through the defense – he was the hero of last week and was looking to keep his team in touch.
A big shout for a penalty was quickly waved away by the referee after a UCT defender managed to clear the ball off the line with his body.
Still the pressure continued from the defending champions, but UCT were managing to cling onto their draw, for now.
Again it was Adonis who was the man-of-the-moment with another amazing save from an equally impressive strike from Tuks
With less than a quarter of the game to go UCT hearts sank as Tuks finally managed to find their elusive goal. Mbongeni Masilela the man to score the goal after a diving header in the box saw the ball bounce off the posts and in.
Even with a slender lead and time ticking away, Tuks continued to attack, this forced UCT into a panicked defensive mode as they looked to hold out the rampant Tuks boys.
With three added minutes there was still enough time for a shot from Tuks to clip the posts and even a Yellow Card for UCT’s right back, Jonathan Melamdowitz – but no more goals as Tuks recorded their second win in two for 2014
FNB Man of the Match: Lucky Mathosi
Samsung Super Striker: Michael Salgado
For UCT: Salgado
For UP-Tuks: Mathosi, Masilela
UCT: 5 Gregory Bryer (captain), 6 Byron Donaldson, 8 Khotso Nare, 10 Simangaliso Makalima, 15 Matthew Jackson, 18 David Frankel, 20 Sepolo Taaso, 24 Kurt Allie, 7 Jeffrey Tikolo, 4 Dylan Fine, 23 Warren Versfeld.
Substitutes: 1 Bevan Adonis, 3 Nkululeko Pitoyi, 11 Michael Salgado, 19 Thansanqa Malusi, 21 Jonathan Melamdowitz, 9 Louis-Romain Moussi Sopp, 14 Jody Brown.
UP-Tuks: 32 Lebo Ngubeni, 13 Lindsay Stowman, 8 Nicholas Killas, 2 Botshelo Mfulwane, 4 Lawrence Ntswane, 4 Jeremiah Nkwana, 18 Lucky Mathosi, 3 Robin Swartz (captain), 20 Thabo Ndlovu, 5 Simbongile Njokwe, 9 Mbongeni Masilela.
Substitutes: 1 Nicholas Stothard, 17 Irvin Tshabalala, 22 Dean Wilkinson, 23 Vuze-Umuze Khoza, 15 Jarryd Van Den Berg, 7 Luke Steyl, 11 Richard Moremi.
Date: Monday, July 28
Venue: Green Mile, Cape Town