A win is a non-negotiable for the Lions

Ethan Goldstone (middle) was outstandings for UFS during the 1-1 draw against NWU-Mafikeng and was very unlucky to have his second goal denied. PHOTO: HANNES NAUDE/ ASEM ENGAGE

It’s all to play for in the Varsity Football on Thursday with it being the penultimate round before the semi-finals.

The University of the Free State are still in for a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals for a third straight year, however, wins against the University of Johannesburg this week and against the Central University of Technology next week are non-negotiables.

Last week the ‘Lions’ came agonisingly close to beating the former champions, the North West University, in Bloemfontein. But a dubious disallowed goal and late red card saw UFS playing to a 1-1 draw in Bloemfontein.

The UFS midfielder, Ethan Goldstone, who was sublime, told Bloemfontein Courant that the red card to captain and centre-back Aphiwe Zulu hurt them, but they still get to fight another day and they have to beat UJ this week.

“We knew the game against NWU would be one of the toughest and they definitely showed it,” said the son of the former Bloemfontein Celtic captain and Kaizer Chiefs defender, Gary Goldstone.

“The red card made it a lot harder, but I’m happy with the fight the boys showed, especially when we went one man down.

“It’s a must-win game against UJ, and we’re going to have to tune in mentally and physically. We know that one is also going to be a very big fight and we want all three points to qualify for the semis.”

This match between UJ and Kovsies at UJ’s Soweto Stadium kicks off at 15:00 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, CUT will be hosting the Vaal University of Technology in Bloemfontein. Although ‘Amashangane’ are out of the running they are now playing for pride and to build confidence ahead of next year’s big derby against UFS in Bloemfontein.

The match between CUT and VUT at CUT Park kicks off at 17:00 on Thursday afternoon. – MORGAN PIEK