UP-Tuks got the better of UWC in Pretoria on Thursday, winning 2-1 and getting their season going.
UP-Tuks laid the foundation for their much-desired victory in the first half at Tuks Stadium. Having been very disappointed to lose their Varsity Football season-opener against neighbours TUT, they were determined to get the better of the only other team – besides the Tshwane rivals – to have won the tournament.
UWC, meanwhile, had much the same emotions coming in to the match which was clear by the changes first-year head coach Stanton Smith made. Out went captain Emmanuel Sebareme and a few other players who started in the loss against UFS.
That of course, seemed not to make a difference when Siphamandla Ntuli (himself one of two changes made by UP-Tuks mentor Tlisane Motaung) opened the scoring.
Not long, a cross by Tobatsi Roets caught a big deflection off Xhantilomzi Mesana for an own goal which placed UWC in the unenviable position of being multiple goals behind for the second week running.
Again they showed second half courage… but again it was too little too late. Stefan Stuurman grabbed a goal for the Cape side in the closing stages but it didn’t unnerve the hosts enough to give them an opening for another.
With UP-Tuks holding on for the win, they will be in a much better frame of mind ahead of the double header at Tuks Stadium next week, when they play UJ. UWC, on the other hand, are now one of only two winless teams but have the blessing of being at home for the first time in a week – to face CUT.
UP-Tuks (0) 0 Siphamandla Ntuli, Xhantilomzi Mesana OG
UWC (0) 1 Stefan Stuurman
UP-Tuks: 16. Giovanni Idi (GK), 7. Jurgen Booysen, 5. Simbongile Njokwe (capt), 3. Sabelo Tsambo, 22. Curtis Mathebula, 20. Katlego Motlhatsang, 15 Siphamandla Ntuli, 24. Jerry Tlou, 26. Mathuane Selotola, 10. Mogau Khwinana, 11. Lebohang Montueli.
Replacements: 18. Tyler Den Heyer (GK), 4. Edward Rankwe, 19. Kgadimoloko Phukubje, 14 Ross Marshall, 25 Sive Mfala, 9 Nhlanhla Mabaso, 2 Tobatsi Roets.
UWC: 27. Ryan Ramandh (GK), 2. Azola Ntsabo, 25. Dawood Lawrence, 6. Luke Vester (capt), 21. Siphosethu Meveni, 5. Clinton Herwel, 15. Kyle Segers, 13. Deflandre de Lange, 7. Jaydan Petersen, 17. Leandro de Sousa, 20. Xhantilomzi Mesana.
Replacements: 28. Nhlanhla Mtambo (GK), 19. Ntembeko Daweti, 9. Emmanuel Sebareme, 24. Abdel-Hakeem Mohamed, 10. Stefan Stuurman, 12. Litha Dakuse, 16. Nkosinathi Gcilishe.
FNB Player of the Match: Katlego Motlhatsang (UP-Tuks)
Debonairs Pizza Real Deal Save of the Match: Ryan Ramandh (UWC)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Siphamandla Ntuli (UP-Tuks)