VarsityFootball: UP-Tuks fall at the hands of Wits

UP have fallen out of their VarsityFootball campaign after their final hope of moving to the semi-finals was crushed in the hands of Wits. Disappoinment for the team began when UP travelled to the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) on Monday 29 August in their final game of the group stages of the VarsityFootball tournament. The Pretoria side needed to win to qualify for the semi-finals, but were unable to and lost 3-2 to Wits.

A sense of foreboding was felt from the beginning of the UP game against Wits when striker Graeme Dor latched onto a delivery from Mahle Mtabane and flicked the ball into the net in the 2nd minute. UP then pushed numbers forward to get the equaliser and were rewarded in the 10th minute after Wits’ Obert Rukaro flicked the ball into his own net to make it 1-1. Mbongeni Masilela made it 2-1 to UP with a header from Jurgen Booysen in the 16th minute. However, Wits fought back in the 32nd minute as Dor used the opportunity of a loose ball in the UP box to send the match into half time with the score deadlocked at 2-2.

Wits came back with deadly counter-attacks in the second half as UP tried to dominate possession. UP missed numerous chances as their attackers struggled to apply the finishing touch to many well-worked moves. This came to hurt UP as Wits took the lead with Dor completing his hat-trick. UP piled the pressure onto Wits in the closing moments of the game as they sought to equalise, but this was to no avail as the Wits defence held onto the lead and recorded Wits’ first win of the season.

UP were then relying on Wits to defeat North-West University (NWU) Mafikeng to allow them to qualify for the semi-finals as they sat 4th on the table, ahead of NWU only on goal difference. Their hopes were shattered, however, when NWU overtook Wits on Thursday 1 September with a 3-1 victory at the Bidvest Stadium.


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