For the second consecutive year, the Senior Men’s Football Team of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) finished in second place after a 1-all draw against Tshwane University of Technology in the FNB Varsity Football final on Thursday, 28 September 2023 at the UJ Soweto Stadium. UJ lost 5-4 in a penalty shootout – this was their only loss since the commencement of the tournament in July.
The two teams started off the match openly in search of an opening goal. TUT opened the score in the 9th minute from a counter attack on the right wing which started in their own half after UJ lost the ball from a press. Shortly after, UJ’s first shot at goal from Tumelo Molubi’s left foot went straight to the TUT goalkeeper. UJ continued to put pressure on the visitors, but their defense was too solid to crack.
TUT went into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead. With the crowd and the brass band in song, the Orange Army scored an equalising goal through Siphosihle Nkambule just ten minutes into the second half of the game.
Going into the final match, UJ had won six and drew two of their games since the start of the tournament while TUT had five wins, one loss and two draws. The Orange Army had six clean sheets compared to TUT’s only two. UJ shot stopper Richard Banga won the Golden Glove award (R3,500) for his outstanding performances.
The two teams continued to look for their second goal in order win the match during the 90 minutes, but the match ended on penalties with TUT winning their 4th title.
Speaking on the team’s unbeaten run in the nine matches played, UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi, said, “I’m proud of the team. I think they have done incredibly well in the tournament and over the years. They were the 2021 champions, they finished in second place last year and this year and have recently qualified to be part of the ABC Motsepe League which starts this weekend. We will continue to support the team.”