It has been a tournament of goals for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) senior women’s team in the 2022 women’s edition of the Varsity Football at the UJ Soweto Stadium. The UJ ladies won all the three group stage games 4-0 against the University of Pretoria (UP Tuks) in the opening game, 3-0 against North West University (NWU) and 5-0 against the University of Limpopo (UL) as well as 5-1 against Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the semi-final.
On Day 1 of the tournament, UJ started the opening half of the game quietly. It was in the dying minutes of the first half that the game became lively as UJ playmaker, Sphumelele Shamase, opened the scoring with a neat finish past the UP Tuks’ goalkeeper.
Five minutes into the second half, UJ defended a dangerous corner from Tuks, resulting in UJ defensive midfielder, Shannon Macomo’s clearance which found Sphumelele Shamase again to score with a beautiful lob over the Pretoria side’s goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Three minutes later, a good combination play between Thubelihle Shamase and twin sister Sphumelele handed UJ a third goal – a hat trick for Sphumele.
UJ’s dominance in the second half saw defender, Boitumelo Rasehlo, score a stunner from a free kick almost from the centre to give UJ 4-0 lead.
On match day 2 of the Varsity Football tournament, UJ made it two wins in a row, handing NWU a heavy 3-0 defeat on the B Field adjacent to the UJ Football Stadium. Twenty minutes into the game, the hosts took the lead through striker, Lesego Nhlapo, who netted a tap in from an assist by captain Kabelo Mokoena. UJ dominated possession and looked likely to score with chances falling to Ayesha Moosa and Sphumelele Shamase both who had their attempts saved by NWU goalkeeper.
10 minutes into the second half, a beautiful switch to the right hand side by Shannon Macomo found Sphumelele Shamase whose composure ended in a goal for UJ making it 2-0. This same combination for the hosts was similar to the one on day 1 in the opening match.
After another dominant display by the hosts they finally got their third goal from Sphumelele Shamase’s surging run to assist Ayesha Moosa for an easy tap in to make it 3-0.
UJ took control of their third game against UL, winning by a whopping 5-0. Sphumelele Shamase won her second Player of the Match award after another outstanding display in the two opening games. She is a strong contender for Player of the Tournament, subject to UJ making it to the final match on Sunday, 16 October 2022.
In the semi-final, UJ took control of the match against TUT early in the first half through two penalties from TUT’s fouls and hand balls in the box. Sphumelele Shamase slotted in the two opening goals from the penalty spot in the 16th and 21st minutes of the match, increasing her goal tally in the tournament.
TUT pulled one through a penalty 41st minute to make it 2-1. However, Thubelihle Shamase quickly re-established UJ’s comfortable lead in the 44th minute of the match to make it 3-1 in favour of UJ.
Back to back goals by Lerato Lefa and captain Maseko made it 5-1, shutting TUT’s comeback attempt. “We want to go ‘all the way’ to the final of the tournament just as the UJ slogan says. all the way. I believe that we can easily win the tournament. We’ll do this for the UJ community of sport; the crowd and for the club. I’m also glad that we have a lot of first-year students in the team and this will help the team’s longevity in the coming years,” says Head Coach, Nthabeleng Modiko.
One of the impressive young footballers in the UJ team is Ayesha Moosa who claimed the Player of the Match award twice on 13 and 14 October 2022.
UJ scored 17 goals in five matches.
The hosts (UJ) will take on defending champions the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Sunday, 16 October 2022 at the UJ Soweto Stadium.