The University of Johannesburg has reached back-to-back finals while the Tshwane University of Technology are in their sixth Varsity Football.
It’s no surprise that both sides have made the final since they also finished in the No.1 and No.2 spot after the round-robin stage.
It’s also a clash of the best attack, UJ with 12 goals against the best defence, and TUT with three goals conceded. It will be a mammoth task for UJ to break the Red Army’s backline after they have kept six clean sheets in this competition so far.
It will also be a clash of the top goalscorer of the competition in Thulani Zandamela, who has scored five goals so far, against the top goalkeeper, Sikhumbuzo Ncube, who has kept his goal clean in six out of the eight games he’s played.
When both sides met in the first round of this year’s tournament, TUT showed they are a team to take note of this season, beating the defending champions 2-0 at the UJ Stadium.
However, this was UJ’s only defeat in this year’s edition, while six wins and one draw followed. TUT, meanwhile, also only lost only once when UP-Tuks handed them a 94th-minute defeat in the Tshwane derby.
However, Bushy Moloi’s side recovered well from the setback and have won their three games since without conceding – not just against any games but twice against NWU and once against UFS – two teams who were also in the semi-finals.
The Orange and Red Army clashed in last year’s semi-final when the game was clocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes before UJ won on penalties.
Both sides also met in the 2016 final, when TUT beat their neighbours 2-1 to lift their first-ever Varsity Football title. They added another in 2018, while UJ claimed their first crown in 2021.
Overall, TUT has won two of their previous five finals, while UJ has won one of three previous final appearances.
The head-to-head record speaks in favour of TUT, who have beaten UJ five times, while two matches ended in a draw (with UJ winning last year’s semi-final after penalties) and UJ ending up victorious just once.
Whatever your plans are for today, make sure you don’t miss the clash of the Varsity Football titans! The match kicks off at 18:00 at UJ Stadium and will be broadcast live on SuperSport Variety (SS9).