Despite multiple chances and shots at goal, the senior men’s football team of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) could not live up to their 2021 performances in the opening encounter against tough side Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). UJ lost 2-0 in their first match of the 2022 Varsity Football tournament on home soil in a packed UJ Soweto Stadium on Thursday, 21 July 2022.
The Orange Army, UJ, will be looking to return to winning ways as they take on the University of Pretoria (Tuks) men on Thursday, 28 July 2022. Both teams will be looking to register their first wins in the tournament as UP-Tuks also lost to University of Free State (UFS Kovsies).
UJ struggled to gain control of the game, with TUT snatching an early goal in the 19th minute of the game that unsettled the hosts. UJ fans braced the cold weather with loud cheers for their team. Vice-captain Stephen Lebese played a crucial role in keeping TUT at bay, clearing threatening balls and deadly attacks by TUT who spent most of the time in the hosts’ own half.
With UJ’s wasted goal scoring opportunities in front of the goalposts, TUT converted their chances to goals, extending their lead with a second goal in the 66th minute of the game. A miscommunication for what the UJ players thought to be an offside trap caused them the second goal.
“This was not the best team performance. We made many errors and conceded goals from situations that we should have easily dealt with. The result is quite disappointing, yes we are the target and the team to beat this year, but we will do our best to turn the tables.
“Perhaps losing tonight could just be a blessing in disguise. We obviously want the lessons to be learned without losing a match, but losing a match can give you so many lessons. Losing humbles you, and ensures that your senses are heightened for the next match. We should have capitalized the many chances we created. The painful part is that we have trained to deal with the kind situations that cost us this match, it is quite unfortunate but we move on,” said Head Coach Karabo Mogudi, UJ Men’s Football Team.
According to Mogudi, one of the lessons taken the game against TUT is to never think a team is too big for a win and that it is crucial to capitalise on chances created.
Goals: Tshepiso Mnisi and Tshiamo Mahome
Player of the Match: Tebogo Lekaba – TUT