Throwback: Finals Down The Years
Varsity Football: Finals Down The Years
With the 2016 Varsity Football Final is on our doorstep and in anticipation of what is sure to be a mouth-watering encounter, we look at the three previous Finals to relive that excitement.
The inaugural competition took place in 2013 and saw the University of Pretoria claim the first title with a dominant victory 4-10 over the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Pretoria. Tuks managed to retain their title in 2014 with a slender 1-0 victory away to the University of Johannesburg.
The next year, 2015, saw a new champion being crowned as the University of the Western Cape managed to overcome the odds to bag a 2-1 victory over TUT in Cape Town.
We look at all the previous Finals!
2013: UP-Tuks 4-1 NMMU-Madibaz
UP-Tuks claimed the inaugural Varsity Football title with a comfortable 4-1 victory over NMMU in front of their home crowd in Pretoria. The result was all the more remarkable as it proved to be the first time that the Madibaz tasted defeat in the competition.
Defender Lawrence Ntswane opened the scoring when he got onto the end of a Mosa Sesele cross before Claudio Barreiro doubled the home side's lead by tucking the ball into the net after a goal-mouth scramble.
NMMU did not go down without a fight though and carved out chances of their own but they lacked the final touch in front of goal. That proved vital as Mbongeni Masilela made it 3-0 when he finished off a flowing counter-attack.
For their troubles, the Madibaz got a goal back through Bradley Peterson but Masilela had the final say after firing home on the stroke of full-time.
2014: UJ 0-1 UP-Tuks
In an enthralling Final played in Johannesburg, the match remained evenly poised until a stunning strike by current Polokwane City trialist Jeremiah Nkwana handed the Pretoria students their second consecutive title.
The match remained level at half-time as both teams were unable to make the most of the numerous chances they had created.
Just like the first half, UJ lacked composure in front of goal to trouble the Tuks goalkeeper. The high intensity remained at the hour mark before UJ's Lerato Tleane gave away a needless free-kick just outside his box.
Up stepped Nkwana - who gained a reputation as being a dead ball specialist - and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net to hand Tuks the lead in the 76th minute.
UJ had a late chance to draw level during injury time but Matthew Edwards' effort flew over the crossbar.
2015: UWC 2-1 TUT
The UWC Stadium, nicknamed the 'Operation Room' by the home fans witnessed the culmination of a fairytale run as UWC became the second team to lift the Varsity Football trophy after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over TUT.
The homes die did not have things their own way in the first half as TUT wasted little time in stamping their authority on proceedings. It culminated in them taking an early lead as Masonwabe Sokanyile left UWC goalkeeper Reon October flat-footed when he slammed home a free kick.
The match seemed to have gotten out of hand from that point as the referee had no option but to flash a few yellow cards as TUT, who played with the wind at their backs in the first half, took their slender lead into the break.
It was the home side's turn to have the wind at their back and it proved vital as diminutive defender Keenan Davis beat his opposition to the ball to head home a corner. UWC coach Salie Adams turned to his bench and brought on Josh Silent.
The move proved to be a stroke of genius as the striker fired home from a tight angle to hand the home side the lead that they never relinquished.