UFS set the ball rolling for the Bloemfontein-based teams in Varsity Football before CUT impressed during their turn, but now they’ll finally battle head-to-head for bragging rights.
Back in 2013, UFS was one of the inaugural Varsity Football participants before sneaking into the semi-finals a year later – when they lost on penalties to UJ. However, Kovsies then flew under the radar and were forced to watch CUT reach the last four in both their first two seasons 2016-17, until they both qualified again for this year’s tournament.
It is with this history in mind that UFS are approaching the first ever Bloemfontein Derby supercharged with motivation; not least because they’re currently in third place on the log after three rounds of #iyachesa action.
“We all know how derbies are and a lot is at stake. We want to crowned the first ever kings of the Bloemfontein Derby,” UFS captain Gauta Mokati tells varsitysportssa.com.
Following UFS’ stalemate against UKZN, Mokati believes that his team needs to create more chances to improve their chances of coming out victorious across town at CUT Stadium.
“I am counting on the chemistry, undying spirit, and hunger within the team to drive us forward,” Mokati said while taking pride in his team’s unbeaten run in this year’s tournament.
Adding to the intrigue of Thursday afternoon’s clash is the fact that CUT’s home turf lies less than five kilometres away from UFS’ Shimla Park.
“I don’t consider the game at CUT as an away game because the environment is not foreign to us,” claims Mokati.
Thanks to the proximity and the regularity with which the two teams have met each other in other leagues, the 25-year-old Post Graduate law student knows that CUT will present challenges besides home ground advantage.
“They are a good team and we know what they are capable of since they are our neighbours. Nobody wants to lose to their rivals so it’s going to be an action-packed game.”
You can catch the first ever Bloemfontein derby at CUT Stadium by buying your tickets for just R10 if you use the Varsity Sports App, downloadable from the Apple App Store on iOS devices or from the Google Play store for Android users. Alternatively, it will be broadcast live on SuperSport 4, with kick-off at 16:00.