In their first ever participation in the competition, UKZN opened up their campaign with a loss when Wits showed their composure in the tournament.
UKZN began the match like a house on fire when they scored their first ever Varsity Football goal after just nine minutes courtesy of Nkosinathi Nhleko. However, a few minutes later Wits responded with a beautiful close range finish from Clinton Mphahlele.
Just before the half time whistle, Wits came from a goal down to bag their second goal of the game, by stalwart Sandile Mbatha.
The goal that was soon to be the difference came from the night’s best player on the field – Baliwe Moyakhe, which made it three goals to Wits and a lead of two.
UKZN’s morale was boosted deep in the game, after their talismanic captain Nqubeko Dlamini nodded in with a composed close-range headed goal, to return some hope to the home team.
However, with just three minutes remaining, it was too little too late, as time was against them and they began their campaign with a 2-3 defeat and an early lesson in the competition.
FNB Player of the Match: Baliwe Moyakhe (Wits)
Samsung Moment of Brilliance: Matthew Carelse (Wits)
Debonairs Real Deal Save:
Goals: Nkosinathi Nhleko, Nqubeko Dlamini
Goals: Clinton Mphahlele, Sandile Mbatha, Baliwe Moyakhe
UKZN: Sifiso Nqobeko Mlungwana, Ashley De Beer, ercy Shongwe, Lungani Nhlengethwa, Siphamandla Nzuza, Philakahle Mfanafikile Dlamini, Tholinhlanhla Steward Zondi,
Nqubeko Siphelele Dlamini, Bongumenzi Nkosikhona Zulu, Nkosinathi Sibeko, Xavier Damion Sampson, Thabani Ntokozo Dlamini
Substitutes: Lungelo Dube, Siphamandla Sosibo, Lungisani Shange, Sphesihle Trevor Mbonambi, Luyanda Ntobeko Kwazi Dlamini, Conal Cone
Wits: Matthew Wade Carelse, Tshireletso George Motsogi, Ndzalama Bradley Mongwe, Mahlolo Clinton Mphahlele, Stokeley Speelman, Saluleko Mathonsi, Kal Laing, Lerotholi Manala, Waylan Rooi, Mahle Mtabane, Bokang Tlali
Substitutes: Daniel Meyer, shenolo Maimane, Sandile Edwin Mbatha, Thapelo Letsoalo, Keamogestwe Mokalake, Baliwe Gerald Moyakhe, Jordan Kelly Reece Green
By Mpendulo Letsoalo