The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Senior Women’s Football team has replicated its winning streak from the 2022 FNB Varsity Football campaign to the 2023 contest in Tshwane. UJ scored nine (9) goals in three (3) matches in the group stage of the tournament held at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Stadium.
In the opening match, the UJ Ladies came from a 1-0 down to defeat regular rivals, the University of the Western Cape, 2-1 on Friday, 11 August 2023. UJ continued their winning momentum by defeating tournament hosts TUT 3-1 on Saturday, 12 August, and cemented their lead at the summit of Group A with a 4-0 win over KwaZulu-Natal Province side, Durban University of Technology (DUT) Ladies.
In the semifinal match on Monday, 14 August 2023, the Orange Army went past Wits University Ladies after Lusanda Mavunda scored a second brace in the second half. Mavundla is a contender for a golden boot winner as the tournament’s current top goal scorer with five goals. Sbongakonke Mzobe sealed UJ’s win in the Johannesburg derby at TUT with a stunning goal just a minute before fulltime.
It is going to be a repeat of last year’s final; the UJ Ladies will face the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Saturday, 19 September 2023. In 2022, the two teams played to a goalless draw – UJ emerged victorious in a penalty shootout in which Shannon Macomo scored the winner.
“We know that the games were going to be tough, but I told the team that it’s about time that we stamp our authority. We won the final through penalties last year, so this year we want to win it on the field. We did well against UWC and TUT and carried the same momentum in the DUT game. The girls showed character and I’m really proud of them. We have to go all the way to the final on Saturday,” said Nthabeleng Modiko, Head Coach: UJ Senior Women’s Football Team.
The Orange Army players, Boipelo Tladinyana, Ayesha Moosa and Kabelo Mokoena, won three consecutive Player of the Match (R1,500 prize money) awards in the first three UJ games. Mokoena, Tladinyana, and Moosa were also among the goal scorers in the group stage matches.
According to one of the biggest supporters of the UJ Sport Clubs, Mr Mhlobowethu Hoyi who is the Head of the UJ Residence Life, the UJ Ladies were on course to win the tournament. “We are going to be here [at the stadium] on all the days of the tournament until the final match when UJ defends the title. I’m very happy with the ladies performances, they have celebrated Women’s Month in style,” he said.