UFS into first Varsity Football final

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Obakeng Seekoei of the University of the Free State Kovsies PHOTO: CATHRINE KOTZE/ VARSITY SPORTS

The University of the Free State is in the final of the Varsity Football for the first time after dispatching the University of Pretoria Tuks.

UFS beat Tuks 2-1 in Pretoria to secure their place in the championship match. In round two of the competition the team from the City of Roses also beat Tuks.

In the first semi-final at the Tuks Stadium, the University of Johannesburg beat the Tshwane University of Technology 5-4 on penalties to advance to the final.

This was after the game ended at one goal a piece following added extra time.

In the match between Tuks and Kovsies it was the hosts that got off to a strong start with Nhlanhla Mabaso heading the ball into the back of the net following an accurate corner kick by Sello Mathuane in just the third minute of the last four encounter.

A mere seven minutes later the Free Staters found the equaliser when Kamogelo Macholo struck back with a long-range effort to beat the keeper, Siyabonga Gumede, from outside of the 18-yard box.

The match experienced a break of some five minutes when the floodlights failed and left the players in the dark on the pitch. Luckily the power outage was only a temperory one and had little influence on the exciting knockout game.

The deciding goal came when the Tuks skipper, Blessing Mabasa, conceded a penalty, and his counterpart from Kovsies, Thabo Lesibe, took it upon himself to hand his team the vital lead.

Lesibe made no mistake in converting from the spot to make the game 2-1.

With three minutes to play, Kovsies, could have driven the final nail in the coffin of Tuks, only for Sello Diphoko to hit the crossbar instead of the back of the net.

Following a further three tense minutes the final whistle blew, signalling the biggest ever win for Kovsies in the competition. For his efforts, Alonso Diedricks was named as the Man of the Match. The final between Kovsies and UJ will be played at 19:15 on Monday, 4 October. – MORGAN PIEK