UJ secure home semi-final with 2-1 victory over UKZN in 2022 FNB Varsity Football

Defending champions the FNB University of Johannesburg (UJ) came from behind to win 2-1 against visitors FNB University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Thursday evening, 08 September 2022. The win ensured that the UJ senior men’s football team secure a 2022 FNB Varsity Football tournament home semi-final at the UJ Stadium, Soweto Campus.

UJ are top of the log with 16 points.

After a cagey start to the game with UJ dominating most of the possession, against the run of play, the first real chance at goal fell to the visitors who capitalised on a mistake from UJ Goalkeeper, Richard Banga. Banga’s pass was intercepted, thus committing a foul resulting in a penalty for the visitors in the 12th minute. The UJ crowd could breathe a sigh of relief as Banga redeemed himself with a brilliant penalty save against Njabulo Mkhize’s top right shot from the spot, keeping the score 0-0 and UJ in the game.

UJ players celebrate the opening goal that equalised for the Orange Army against UKZN on Thursday, 08 September 2022.
UJ players celebrate the opening goal (an equaliser) for the Orange Army against UKZN on Thursday, 08 September 2022.

However, the visitors settled into the game and took the lead in the 25th minute after a dangerous free kick shot which bounced in front of UJ goalie, Banga, and found the back of the net from UKZN’s Khona Ntuli. Trailing 1-0, UJ cranked up the pressure with a flurry of attacks and shots at goal with man of the match Advocate Mokwena pulling the strings in midfield. UKZN managed to weather the storm until the referee’s whistle blow for the half-time break.

The second half began the same way the first half ended, with UJ dominating and pushing for an equaliser. Just after the hour mark, UJ had a really good opportunity with Puleng Baphela hitting the post, and from the resulting corner kick, vice-captain Maselesele Makoti turned in a header for a UJ equaliser in the 61st minute. The goal rattled the UKZN outfit and two minutes later the ever dangerous Thulani Zandamela, swept in a delightful cross from Gerald Ndlovu making it 2-1 to the hosts in the 63rd minute.

The Orange Army managed to control the game with a solid display of good football in the second half. UJ will play in the semi-final on Thursday, 15 September 2022.

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