Home comforts made all the difference for UWC as they got their first win of the 2019 Varsity Football season, beating CUT 2-0 at their Bellville base.
In pursuit of a win at home, UWC coach Stanton Smith made a few changes to his starting line up and it proved to be a plus for his side as they started the game on a high. They produced chances in the first 25 minutes but couldn’t hurt Mosai Rakometsi’s boys.
UWC had a majority of the ball possession in the opening half but could not penetrate the resilient defence of CUT.
The Free Staters, though, could have taken the lead at the end of the first half, but ex-Udubs star Phiwokuhle Mpalala’s free kick sailed past Ryan Ramandh’s goals and the teams headed to the changing rooms locked at 0-0.
The 2015 champions made a half-time substitution bringing on Leandro De De Sousa for Litha Dakuse with the change intended to put CUT on the back foot. It proved to be a worthy trick up Smith’s sleeve as they had two shots on target, one each by Stefan Stuurman and De Sousa but CUT ‘keeper Thabo Samuel stood firm by making two quality saves.
De Sousa’s introduction seemed to give the home side a bit of spark as the striker unleashed a volley that sailed inches over the bar with Samuel well beaten. It seemed that The CUT defence had to crack at some point and Clinton Herwel was the man of the moment as he headed his side in to the lead.
Rakometsi then brought on Khauhelo Ramotsoenyane trying to salvage something but that proved to be costly as his side seemed to be opening crucial spaces for UWC to exploit.
With the game nearing the end, Stefan Stuurman produced a moment of brilliance beating Samuel from outside of the box to make the score 2-0. UWC thus collected their first points with a superb performance and their road to the top four now seems more viable.
UWC (0) 2 Clinton Herwel, Stefan Stuurman
CUT (0) 0
FNB Player of the Match: Siphosethu Meveni (CUT)
Debonairs Pizza Real Deal Save of the Match: Thabo Samuel (CUT)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Clinton Herwel (UWC)
UWC: 27. Ryan Ramandh (GK), 5. Clinton Herwel, 24. Abdel-Hakeem Mohamed, 6. Luke Vester, 9. Emmanuel Sebareme (capt), 21. Siphosethu Meveni, 10. Stefan Stuurman, 26. Sandile Mdluli, 15. Kyle Segers, 12. Litha Dakuse, 7. Jaydan Petersen.
Replacements: 28. Nhlanhla Mtambo (GK), 2. Azola Ntsabo, 23. Bulelani Ngidi, 11. Charlton Fritz, 23. Matthew Petersen, 13. Deflandre de Lange, 17. Leandro de Sousa.
CUT: 1. Thabo Samuel (GK), 3. Waydelio Links, 5. Thabang Khesa, 15. Morena Lehloa, 22. Itumeleng Chelopo, 8. Thabo Mokhele, 4, Tsietsi Ramosedi, 23. Mpho Molwatse, 25. Mothusi Madilola, 10. Keitumetse Mabathoana (capt), 2. Phiwokuhle Mpalala.
Replacements: 28. Mpho Motsoahole (GK), 19. Oratile Mothibedi, 13. Thabang Khopane, 14. Pule Thaele, 7. Malefetsane Nkaki, 6. Katleho Molakeng, 11. Khauhelo Ramotsoenyane.
By Dumisani Koyana