Monday evening saw TUT cement their home semi-final spot, beating hosts Wits University 1-0 at the Bidvest Stadium.
The match was filled with emotion, on and off the pitch, with spectators voicing their displeasure when things weren’t going their way. The battle between the two Gauteng sides, saw the men from Pretoria walk away with all three points, thanks to a calm finish from Keabetswe Mokwena to give his team a 1-0 win on the road.
The game got underway with both sides eager to get off the mark early but it wasn’t to be in the opening few moments. The visitors did have a few great opportunities to take the lead, and should have been ahead just after the 10-minute mark, when striker Themba Ndlovu failed to direct his shot from close range, off a corner, towards goal. The home side did try create a few opportunities of their own but the TUT defence was resolute at the back, not letting anything through.
Keabetswe Mokwena had a great chance to put TUT in the lead, when he received a ball on the right-hand side but his shot grazed the side netting for a goal kick. Both teams then seemed to settle for the 0-0 score, with the tempo of the game dropping slightly just before the break.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first, as both defences refused to let go of their clean sheets. TUT eventually started to turn the tempo up a notch just after the hour mark, and were awarded a free kick just outside the Wits box, but Themba Ndlovu’s attempt sailed over the cross bar, leaving Wits shot-stopper Sthembiso Zuke unbothered.
A few minutes later the visitors were on the attack again and they caught the Wits defence napping with a cross that was played along the ground from the right hand side that found Keabetswe Mokwena on the back post, who calmly collected and slid the ball past Zuke to give TUT a 1-0 lead.
The hosts then ‘huffed and puffed’ but failed to get back in the game. The visitors were able to hold on for the vital three points to keep them at the summit of the log and secure a home semi-final.
FNB Player of the Match: Mahle Mtabane (Wits)
Samsung Best Shot: Rorisang Rapelang (TUT)
Goals: Keabetswe Mokwena
Wits: Sthembiso Zuke, Kaizer Maphanga (C), Tumisang Manamela, Jordan Green, Sindiswa Dlamini, Mahle Mtabane, Maropeng Mphaho, Keamogetswe Mokalake, Bradley Mongwe, Baliwe Moyakhe, Thabiso Rafanyane.
Subs: Thorisho Marobane, Snethemba Msane, Mondie Dlamini, Riaaz Kader, Sibusiso Nkosi, Lyndon Crouch, Tristan Gatter.
TUT: Sikhumbuzo Ncube, Letlhogonolo Letshwane, Tlotlo Mothibedi, Vusi Sibiya, Rorisang Rapelang, Thabiso Lebitso, Lethabo Andy Mashifana, Thabang Makgwane, Keabetswe Mokwena, Lebogang Phatlane Themba Ndlovu.
Subs: Kgaratlo Phatsoane, Siboniso Nyawo, Sello Omecious Ngoetjana, Ogorositswe Tabane, Tebogo Letwaba, Tlotlo Afrika, Emmanuel Mahlangu.
By Sifiso Nyawo