North-West University (NWU) and the University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks) need just one point from their remaining two round robin matches to progress beyond the group stage.
TUT and NMMU both recorded convincing wins in Monday’s fifth round action and remain unbeaten. The Pretoria side ensured a victory over UCT with all three the goals in their 3-1 victory coming in the first 20 minutes. In Port Elizabeth NMMU did not give Wits much breathing room, winning by 4-1.
NWU remain in third place on the log following a hard-fought 2-1 win over UWC, while Tuks demolished UFS 4-0 in Bloemfontein.
TUT vs UCT
Three early goals saw TUT cruise to a 3-1 victory over UCT to keep their spot at the top of the Varsity Football standings.
The defeat to the unbeaten log-leaders sees the Cape side stay rooted to the bottom of the standings, with just one draw to show for their efforts, but they did show plenty of fighting spirit to work their way back into the game after a nightmare start.
The home side got on the front foot early and it only took a couple of minutes for them to open the scoring with skipper Themba Nkosi sweeping the ball in at the back post after an early corner.
That brought the crowd to life and the confidence of the TUT side was evident as they knocked the ball around, forcing UCT to live off scraps.
TUT were moving the ball forward at pace and debutant UCT goalkeeper PJ Roberts was kept busy as the home side peppered his goal early on.
UCT came within inches of scoring when Lwazi Maziya hit the bar with a long range effort, but TUT doubled their advantage soon afterwards when Khomotso Selemela showed good vision to chip the ball over Roberts from outside the box.
That saw Roberts replaced by Bevan Adonis, but he could not stop the torrent of goals as the referee awarded a penalty after Botshelo Mfulwane was brought down in the box by Byron Donaldson.
Selby Madibana stepped up to lash the ball past Adonis and TUT were in complete control with a 3-0 lead after just 20 minutes.
TUT continued to dominate both territory and possession with UCT forced to rely on a few counter-attacking opportunities, however the visitors were next to score when Maziya tucked the ball away after it had bounced off the bar.
That seemed to give UCT a much-needed boost and they pressed forward in search of another goal before half-time but it was not to be and the hosts took their 3-1 advantage into the break.
The visitors kept the pressure up at the start of the second half with Lukas Metzmacher testing TUT goalkeeper King Ndlovu with a well-struck free kick as they took the game to the log-leaders.
The second half was a more keenly contested affair as UCT found their feet and started enjoying their fair share of possession.
Both sides had their opportunities in the final stages but neither could find the finishing touch as TUT wrapped up their fourth win of the competition to secure top spot for another week.
UWC vs NWU
A late strike from Tshenolo Machwisa saw NWU secure a nail-biting 2-1 victory over a hard-working UWC side in Mafikeng.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break thanks to a scorching strike from Sylvester Moses, but the Cape side drew level thanks to a Curtley Beukes goal late in the second half before Machwisa sealed victory with his match-winning effort.
NWU made an assured start to the game, moving the ball around well and forcing UWC to chase shadows in the opening exchanges.
UWC striker Curtley Beukes caused the home team’s defence a few headaches with some powerful runs down the right side, but opportunities were few and far between as NWU dominated possession.
The pressure finally told when a corner was knocked short to Moses who unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box to find the bottom left corner and give NWU a 1-0 lead.
The visitor’s opportunities were limited to the counter attack as they looked to catch the NWU defence napping, but the home side were looking just as threatening with striker Thabo Mnyamane pulling a shot just wide of goal.
To their credit UWC continued to push hard, but they lacked the accuracy in the attacking third to make their opportunities count and level the scores as NWU took their 1-0 lead into half-time.
The home side started the second half with real intent as they looked to secure a two-goal cushion, and Mnyamane had a few great opportunities to do just that at the back post but could not find the target.
They were made to pay for their innacuracy in front of goal when UWC grabbed a late equaliser through the hard-working Beukes.
The UWC striker showed great control to bring the ball down in the box and calmly slotted the ball past Tebogo Mosia in the NWU goal to level the scores and silence the large crowd.
However, NWU kept their composure and were rewarded when a clinical late strike from Machwisa handed them a deserved 2-1 victory.
UFS vs UP-Tuks
UP-Tuks ran rampant in their first Varsity Football away game, securing a resounding 4-0 victory over UFS in Bloemfontein.
The Pretoria side scored three goals in the second half, taking their opportunities well as the home side threw everything at them in a desperate attempt to find a goal.
The visitors made an encouraging start to the match, taking the game to UFS as an early free-kick deflected away or a corner.
Mosa Sesele rose highest to nod the ball into the back of the net and give his side a vital 1-0 lead early on in the encounter.
The home side rallied after that early setback and unleashed a number of hopeful shots on the Tuks goal, but goalkeeper Tristyn Coetsee stood firm.
UFS pressed hard in search of an equaliser, but they could not make the most of their opportunities up against the stern Tuks defence and went into the half-time break trailing 1-0.
Tuks started the second half with a bang when they were awarded a penalty after a UFS defender handled the ball in the box and Mbongeni Masilela stepped up to tuck the spot-kick away.
This prompted the home side to make a few changes as they looked for a way back into the game, and they threw everything into attack in search of a goal.
They came close when a good cross from Lehlohonolo Ramolebo fell to Jarred Meyer, but he could not find the target as the Free State side’s woes in front of goal continued.
The attacking onslaught from UFS did not stop there as captain Ricco Sutil put a good free kick into the danger area, but it was hacked away to safety by the Tuks defence.
The Pretoria side had a few opportunities on the counter, with Masilela putting an effort wide, and eventually it was Claudio Barreiro who put a header into the top right corner to make it 3-0.
There was still time for one more goal as Tuks were awarded an indirect free kick after UFS goalkeeper Malefane Mokhachane picked up a back-pass, and Thabo Ndlovu slotted the opportunity to put the finishing touch on the victory.
NMMU vs Wits
The NMMU Madibaz maintained their unbeaten Varsity Football record with a convincing 4-1 victory over Wits in Port Elizabeth.
The Eastern Cape outfit were playing in their first home game of the season and they certainly made that advantage count as two goals in each half saw them wrap up their third victory of their campaign.
The Madibaz struck early with striker Leroy van Rensburg finishing off well to hand them the lead after just two minutes after a good attacking movement down the left.
Wits regrouped after that and took the game to their hosts, but they could not find the target as a header sailed over the bar and another long range attempt went wide.
The home side doubled their lead when Lindsay Stowman pounced on a fumbled ball from Wits goalkeeper Paulos Mohale to tuck the ball away, sending the crowd into wild celebrations.
Despite trailing 2-0 Wits refused to give in and their fighting spirit was rewarded when Tshepo Motsukunyane capitalised on a defensive error from NMMU to pull one back for the visitors.
However, the two-goal cushion was restored shortly after the break when Van Rensburg slotted a free-kick from the edge of the box to make it 3-1 to the Madibaz.
NMMU were enjoying the majority of possession in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, but Wits were able to manufacture some opportunities of their own with a threatening free kick headed away by Niven Kops.
Still the Madibaz were to have the final say when Cornelius Matuoane pounced on a loose ball in the box after Mohale had fumbled a cross.
The victory sees NMMU stay in second place on the standings, just two points adrift of pace-setters TUT.
16:30: TUT vs NMMU (TV)
19:00: Wits vs UFS (TV)
19:00: UP Tuks vs UWC
19:00: NWU vs UCT
16:30: UWC vs UCT (TV)
19:00: TUT vs Wits (TV)
19:00: NWU vs UP Tuks
19:00: NMMU vs UFS
9 September: 16:30 19:00: semi-finals.
16 September: 19:00: Final
Article source: http://www.kickoff.com/news/36577/varsity-football-update