Despite the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) senior men’s football team dominance over the University of Free State’s (UFS Kovsies) senior men’s football team, the hosts could not break the deadlock in round four of the 2022 FNB Varsity Football tournament in Soweto on Thursday, 11 August 2022.
The fixture, which was a replica of the 2021 final match when UJ was crowned champions, ended in both teams picking a point each after a goalless draw. The UJ home crowd has not witnessed any goal scored in the two home games (against TUT and UFS) played at the Soweto Campus.
The game started slowly with UFS Kovsies blocking attempts at goal by UJ. The Orange Army (UJ) created multiple chances to score with their ball possession for most part of the match, but failed to convert the opportunities to goals. Ntokozo Mathobela was key in creating chances to score goals for the UJ side.
Tumelo Molubi and Siphiwe Manana were included in the starting eleven for the first time in the tournament this year. The skilled left-footed Molubi fired long shots at goal in an attempt to break the continuous stalemate in the second half, but was unsuccessful. Despite playing the full 90 minutes, Molubi said he could have done better.
Maselesele Makoti was at the helm with captain’s armband with captain Neo Lebopa on the bench. “I think it was an easy game to win, but we made things difficult for ourselves in the first half. We did not create enough chances. We should have won the game, but games are won by scoring goals,” said Makoti.
Makoti reiterated that the draw was not a true reflection of the match and belives that UJ will defend the title.
The second half saw UJ create more scoring opportunities with UFS Kovsies goalkeeper making multiple saves. Thanda Madiba’s header hit the upright post and went wide.
UJ players missed several goal scoring chances, thus failing to win at home in their second encounter at the Soweto Campus this season.
UJ, under Head Coach Karabo Mogudi, are currently in fourth position on the log with seven points after four games )2 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss)
Man of the Match Thulani Zandamela was pleased with his performances. “It’s exciting to win Man of the Match, but it would have been extremely exciting if we got maximum points by winning the match. I am happy with the performance and the shift I put out here tonight. We will do much better going forward. For now, we take the point and move on,” said Zandamela.
The remaining fixtures for the Orange Army will all be played at the UJ Soweto Stadium. In the next fixture on Thursday, 18 August 2022, UJ takes on the University of North West (NWU), kick off at 18:30.
Man of the match:
Thulani Zandamela (UJ)