An utterly dramatic and nerve-wrecking penalty shootout had to separate TUT and UWC in the second 2017 Varsity Women’s Football semi-final with TUT showing their nerve when it mattered most to win the match 4-3 on penalties. Nokwanda Shabangu hit the winning penalty as her side went on a celebratory run at the Fanie du Toit Sport Grounds in Potchefstroom.
The match previously ended 1-1 after full time in a balanced game where both sides showed attacking intent throughout.
TUT will now face UJ in next weekend’s final in what promises to be a cliff-hanger if the weekend was anything to go by.
In normal time TUT had a couple of half-chances in the opening ten minutes, but UWC’s defence of Nolubabalo Sishuba and Nicole October did well to keep the TUT attackers at bay.
UWC then had a chance of their own as they caught TUT on the break. This resulted in Abongile Dlani testing Mpho Monangwe with a shot from close range that the keeper parried away for a corner.
Left back Salome Kekana had a terrific game for TUT as she constantly roamed forward from defence, putting in tantalising crosses for her teammates. Bontle Mashilo and Lizzel Mokoana, though, could not make the most of these balls in the box.
UWC almost made TUT pay with great counter attacking football but Dlani’s shot skimmed the crossbar as the girls in yellow came close to taking the lead in a tense semi-final.
With one minute to go, TUT got their break when Salome Dikgale was brought down in the box and the referee duly pointed to the penalty spot much to the dismay of UWC. TUT captain Kgomotso Mashiloane successfully converted the spot kick to give her side a 1-0 lead at half-time.
TUT kept creating chances in the second half and were desperate to get another goal for some insurance. Katlego Kwhinana came close with a long range drive and Mashilo nearly capatalised on a beautiful cross.
UWC’s Thalea Smidt had another fantastic game in the centre of the park as she pulled the strings with some brilliant diagonal balls that put pressure on TUT’s defence.
Aaqilah Alfreds then showcased a moment of brilliance when she equalised for UWC with a marvellous right footed free kick that put the game at 1-1 with 15 minutes to go.
It was now anyone’s game as the side with patience, persistence and BMT would go on the win it. That team proved to be TUT who took the penalty shootout and secured their place in a home final.
FNB Player of the Match: Katlego Khwinana (TUT)
Samsung Best Shot Award: Aaqilah Alfreds (UWC)
Goals: Aaqilah Alfreds
Goals: Kgomotso Mashiloane
Penalties: (TUT win 4-3)
UWC: Thalea Smidt (missed), Nolubabalo Sishuba (1-0), Aaqilah Alfreds (2-1), Regirl Ngobeni (3-2), Nicole October (missed), Kiara Braun (missed)
TUT: Kgomotso Mashiloane (missed), Salome Kekana (1-1), Maphuti Manamela (2-2), Katlego Khwinana (missed), Bontle Mashilo (3-3), Nokwanda Shabangu (4-3)
UWC: Regirl Ngobeni, Aaqilah Alfreds, Nicole October © Bongeka Jezile, Nolubabalo Sishuba, Thalea Smidt, Lauren Johnathan, Puleng Moremi, Kiara Braun, Abongile Dlani, Jaime-Lee Peters
Subs: Tamia Milligan, Tamlin Dias, Gracious Baloi, Miche Oosthuizen, Amanda Lamani
TUT: Mpho Monangwe(GK) Mmabatho Dire, Salome Kekana Nokwanda Shabangu, Jabulile Mazibuko, Katlego Khwinana, Thato Matlala, Lizzel Mokoana, Salome Dikgale Nontokozo Zwane, Kgomotso Mashiloane (captain)
Subs: Thabile Malambe, Bontle Mashilo, Maphuthi Manamela, Letlhogonolo Maluleke, Dineo Marakalla, Paballo Lepele, Nompumelelo Tshabalala.
By Wouter Pienaar