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#TuksFootball: UP-Tuks vs TUT Varsity Final set to be a thriller
18 September 2017
Tuks will face TUT in the Varsity Football final on 28 September 2017. If it were a boxing match, it would be labelled “Thriller in Tshwane”.
 
It would be quite a fitting description as UP-Tuks and TUT are considered the two best teams in university football in South Africa. They clashed twice this season, and both times turned out to be titanic matches.
In the USSA football final TUT managed to beat Tuks in a penalty shootout while in the Varsity Football tournament TUT managed to secure a draw with only a minute to spare in the match. 
 
The road to the final for both teams is a total contrast. TUT dominated from the start while UP-Tuks failed to fire on all cylinders in their first three games, but once they found their “groove”, there was no stopping them. They won five games on the trot.
 
Brilliant would be a good way to describe UP-Tuks’ performance in yesterday’s semi-final clash against UWC. UP-Tuks won 3-1.
 
Apart from a slight lapse of concentration in the first minute which led to Clinton Herwel scoring for the visitors, the home team was in total control, testing the UWC defenders skills to the utmost.
 
From the 10th minute onwards the question was not whether UP-Tuks would be able to score but when they would level matters. Odwa Makha headed in a corner kick just before the half-time. It was the third time in the tournament that Makha scored with a header.
 
UP-Tuks took the lead five minutes into the second half when their captain, Simbongile Njokwe, scored. Makha sealed the game when he succeeded with a penalty, taking his tally of goals in the tournament to six.
As usual, Makha refused to take sole credit for his goal scoring accuracy.
 
“I just want to help the team win the Varsity Football tournament. Each goal scored means we are getting closer to fulfilling our dream. Today (yesterday) there was no room for errors. We needed to score when an opportunity arose as in semi-finals you don’t get second chances.”
 
Then he added: “I want to dedicate the goals I scored to my late father. It was his passion for the game that got me started to play. I owe him so much.”
 
Njokwe felt redeemed after scoring UP-Tuks second goal.
 
“I felt bad after botching up one or two goal-scoring opportunities early on during the match as I realised the importance of making the most of every occasion.”
It was the first Njokwe scored in this year’s tournament.  “I will admit scoring the goal was special as it felt like I led by example.”
 
According to the captain, he was not worried when UWC scored in the first minute.
“I know my boys. When they want it, they will make sure they get the win. In games like this, we never choke.”
 
Tlisane Motaung (coach) was justly proud of his team’s performance.
“The hard work is starting to pay dividends. At the outset of the tournament, we were setting up one goal scoring opportunity after another, but we failed to make it count, but I never lost faith in my player’s abilities. We needed just to fine-tune a few things in training, and now we are scoring.
 
“As they say in marathon racing. It is not how you start but how you finish a race that matters.”
- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Leonore JordaanEdit