UP-Tuks will play UJ – as part of the first-ever Varsity Football double-header at their Tuks Stadium – wary that the wounded ‘Orange Army’ would like nothing better than returning to winning ways against their Jukskei neighbours.
UP-Tuks tasted victory against UWC, 2-1, but count themselves lucky as it was an own goal by the Capetonians that ensured their one goal buffer. The Stripe Generation’s lack of goals is an area of concern according to head coach, Tlisane Motaung.
“We are obviously chuffed with the win as it was a serious morale booster but we are frustrated by the amount of goals we are not scoring. We have led in terms of opportunities in both of our matches so far yet we just cannot find the back of the net,” Motaung explained to varsitysportssa.com.
“We simply have to start converting our opportunities as we cannot win matches if we do not score,” he added.
The two Gauteng giants have enjoyed a strong and competitive rivalry for many years in Varsity Football. Of their five meetings, UP-Tuks have two wins (including the 2014 final) and claimed a draw last year in Soweto. However, UJ’s two wins have both been at Tuks Stadium and so UP-Tuks are under no illusions when it comes to UJ’s pedigree.
“We respect just how dangerous UJ can be. We have played them many times and have come to know that underestimating them is always to our detriment. We have prepared for their onslaught and now need to get onto the pitch and bag the result,” stated Motaung, who has made no changes to his starting line-up for Thursday’s 18:15 clash.
UP-Tuks: 16. Giovanni Idi (GK), 7. Jurgen Booysen, 5. Simbongile Njokwe (capt), 3. Sabelo Tsambo, 22. Curtis Mathebula, 20. Katlego Motlhatsang, 24. Jerry Tlou, 15. Siphamandla Ntuli, 26. Mathuane Selotola, 10. Mogau Khwinana, 11. Lebohang Montueli.
Replacements: 18. Tyler Den Heyer (GK), 4. Edward Rankwe, 8. Wandile Dlamini, 9. Nhlanhla Mabaso, 25 Sive Mfala, 14 Ross Marshall, 2 Tobatsi Roets.
The UP-Tuks-UJ clash kicks off at 18:15 and tickets are available 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.
By Dan Lombard