By Siazakele Nkosi
Experience has won it for Tshwane University of Technology after beating University of Western Cape 2-1 in the varsity football cup final, in Bellville Stadium on Thursday.
TUT is the first women’s university football team to successfully defend their title.
The UWC Captain Vuyo Mkhabela spoke ahead of the game and there was plenty to suggest it was to be more than just a ‘final’
“We want revenge as they beat us last season in the semi-final” sounded Vuyo.
In the opening minutes of the game, the ladies from the Western Cape province showed their dominance in the game, when Banyana Banyana forward Thembi Kgatlana easily dribbled past the TUT defends but fortunately for the visitors, the ball went out of play.
UWC’s game plan of wanting revenge was short lived as the heavy-framed TUT striker Nthabiseng Sikhankhane stunned the home crowd when she scored the opening goal of the match in 28th minute. Sikhankhane shot at goal had a spin to it hence wrong footing Nhlamulo Mathebula the goalkeeper.
The Pretoria side was playing against the wind but that did not prevent them from playing
It was the opening goal that gave the away team the confidence to pile up the
pressure and dominate the first half.
At the restart, the home side looked the more organized, taking the game to TUT.
However, it was Kgatlana, who showcased her speed and trickery at the left side of the pitch; causing havoc to TUT defender’s Koketso Mahlangu.
The menacing Kgatlana known as “Pikinini” again in 63rd minute, when she linked up with teammate Rachel Sebati threatened the away team but the TUT defense managed to clear the danger.
Sebati, a former junior U-17 captain for South Africa showed confidence whenever she had the ball at her feet.
With the home side searching for an equalizer, it was the FNB player of the match’s (Kgatlana) individual brilliance that gave the home team some glimmer of hope when she made it 1-1 in 69th minute of the game.
It had the make-up of a cup final as TUT centre back Phathutshedzo Makhado
dramatically grabbed the winning goal 3 minutes after Pikinini scored the equalizer.
The winning goal came from a mishap by the goalkeeper and her defenders failing to clear the ball in the six-yard area.
Nankosi Sport UWC players were still in celebratory mood after scoring the equalizer and went to sleep but got punished by the defending champions as Captain Maphuthi Manamela’s TUT proved their experience at cup finals by snatching a victory away from home.
Makhado theSamsung ‘Superstriker’ gong for her contribution to the game and at a post match interview said:
“We came here to win. But we wanted to prove that it was not a mistake when we won it last year.”
All Hail the Queens!!!!