The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Senior Men’s Football Team remains at the top of the 2023 FNB Varsity Football tournament log with eleven (11) points after three consecutive wins and two goalless draws. UJ added three points in round 5 of the tournament on Thursday, 24 August 2023 after defeating Free State Province’s Central University of Technology 1-0.
Siphosihle Nkambule’s goal in the opening half of the match was enough to keep UJ in first position on the log. UJ lead defending champions, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), who are in second place, by a single point.
Prior to the UJ-CUT match, UJ had won 3-1 against the University of Fort Hare team which is currently in the bottom two positions of the log together with CUT. The top four teams of the tournament comprises the tougher UJ, TUT, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and North West University (NWU-Mafikeng).
In the match on Thursday afternoon, UJ scored the only goal of the match through Nkambule who scored from Sanele Ndlalane’s cross into the box after Tumelo Molubi made a short pass from the corner kick in the 24th minute. The Orange Army continued their search for a second goal through Karabo Modisane and Molubi’s shots at goal in the 31st and 37th minutes, but could not find the back of the net. In the 42nd minute, UJ missed a free header in CUT’s box. Just minutes before the halftime break, the UJ defence dealt with CUT’s dangerous free kick from a UJ foul committed just outside the 18-area box.
In the second half, Tokoloho Vilakazi made an excellent run from the right wing after a long pass from the UJ defence, only to hit the upright. In the 62nd minute, UJ defender Thabo Moshikere made a crucial interception to stop what could have been CUT’s equaliser.
It was a game of two halves, with UJ dominating in the first half and the relentless CUT piling up pressure on the hosts in the second half. The CUT goalkeeper made a crucial save to stop UJ’s last attempt at goal after an impressive attack by UJ in the 95th minute.
UJ held onto their slender lead to clinch a third straight win. In their next encounter, UJ will play the University of Free State (UFS-Kovsies) at the UJ Soweto Stadium on Thursday, 31 August 2023. UJ’s last fixture will be played against TUT in Soweto on 7 September 2023.