UP-Tuks had to rely on an own goal by UFS to walk away with a 1-0 victory and secure their playoff place after Round 7 of Varsity Football action at the Tuks Stadium on Thursday.
The heat was turned up significantly in the lead up to the clash as both teams were pinning their hopes on a win in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
UP-Tuks and UFS were 5th and 4th on the log respectively, both on ten points but UFS’ better points difference allowed them one up on their Pretoria opponents.
The first half was packed with action and although both teams took several shots only two apiece were on target and the teams headed into the half-time break all square with no goals scored.
The weather turned more dark with each passing minute and the second stanza proved to be much of the same as both teams showed passionate attacking intent while equally adept on defence but alas, goals were not forthcoming – though Obakeng Seekoei hit the crossbar with speculative long-range clearance which dipped over Giovanni Idi.
It would take the entire 90 minutes until a goal found the back of the net and it was a disaster for Kovsies as captain Gauta Mokati steered a shot from substitute Tobatsi Roets past his own goalkeeper for an own goal that allowed the Stripe Generation to win 1-0 and secure their spot in the semi-finalists.
For the visitors, meanwhile, an agonising wait-and-see awaited them through the evening kick-offs…
UP-TUKS (0) 1 Gauta Mokati own goal
FNB Player of the Match: Nhlanhla Mabaso (UP-Tuks)
Debonairs Pizza Real Deal Save of the Match: Giovanni Idi (UP-Tuks)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Obakeng Seekoei (UFS)
UP-Tuks: 16. Giovanni Idi (GK), 7. Jurgen Booysen, 3. Sabelo Tsambo, 23. Chinedu Okolo, 8. Wandile Dlamini, 11. Lebohang Montueli, 20. Katlego Motlhatsang (capt), 24. Jerry Tlou, 26. Mathuane Selotola, 10. Mogau Khwinana, 9. Nhlanhla Mabaso.
Replacements: 18. Tyler Den Heyer (GK), 2. Tobatsi Roets, 4. Edward Rankwe, 14. Ross Marshall, 15. Siphamandla Ntuli, 22. Curtis Mathebula, 25. Sive Mfala.
Coach: Tlisane Motaung
UFS: 27. Nelson Chauke (GK), 23. Makhaola Mohale, 24. Obakeng Seekoei, 15. Gauta Mokati (capt), 3. Thapelo Madrati, 8. Obarate Saila, 25. Bradwell Gouws, 6. Angelo Arendse, 7. Lebogang Ngamlani, 5. Thapelo Masemola, 4. Siphelele Ngwenya.
Replacements: 28. Mafase Malomane (GK), 12. Themba Msimanga, 13. Nnyane Nkomo, 14. Ashley Shingange, 18. Katleho Phutheo, 21. Duncan Mohale, 22. Katleho Lephaka.
Coach: Morethebe Modutoane
By Dan Lombard