NWU settles for 1-all draw against challengers UP Tuks
During the North-West University’s (NWU’s) most recent Varsity soccer attempt, I could not help but think about my obsession with soufflés.
My mother, a master baker, would tell me after every failed attempt at making my own soufflé that it needed the right amount of every ingredient, and, most importantly, just the right temperature.
Just like a soufflé, the NWU’s Varsity football team also needs the perfect ingredients and conditions when facing their opposition.
On paper they have the right talent: fresh, young and energetic. They also have a newly refurbished pitch, a new coach and management, and an even bigger purple army support base. Yet game after game the team just seems to waffle and do not rise to the occasion when they are most needed to.
In the start of the 2019 season the Noble Boys delivered a convincing, though wobbly, victory against the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This first-leg win on home soil created the momentum that carried them through to the second round against the University of Free State, ending in a 1-all draw.
However, a sharp eye could reveal the various blind spots the Noble Boys continue to ignore, and which is possibly the reason for their failure to be victorious and produce the perfect “soufflé”.
During their most recent face-off against UP Tuks, who played a convincing game after a brutal thrashing at the hands of the University of Johannesburg, team NWU failed on at least seven chances to consolidate their game, finding the back of the net and reclaiming their once solid glory.
UP Tuks drew first blood in the first half of the game with a brilliant assist goal by Lebohang Montueli (11). Coming in hot from the half-time break, it was Banele Hlophe (21) who came to the rescue with a captivating goal past UP Tuks goalie Giovanni Idi (16), ending the game with a 1-all draw.
Perhaps like me, with all the right ingredients to deliver a high-quality soufflé, team NWU may rise to the occasion.
I have never given up on producing a quality soufflé – let’s hope that the Noble Boys too will regroup and find their glory at last.
The NWU’s Mandisi Gadla (24) was announced Man of the Match.
Real Deal Save: Giovanni Idi (16)
Man of the Match: Mandisi Gadla (24)
MTN Pulse Moment of Brilliance: Banele Hlophe (21)
NWU: 27. Kagiso Ramadivhane (GK), 22. Lesego Motsepe, 2. Tholinhlanhla Masuku, 14. Tshepiso Mahlangu, 8. Kananelo Motsoeneng, 6. Lindani Nkabinde, 5. Sibusiso Ndlovu, 7. Paseka Matsheka (capt), 16. Israel Matshane, 24. Mandisi Gadla, 23. Simphiwe Mlangeni.
Replacements: 28. Luzuko Jevuka (GK), 18. Tshepang Morakile, 10. Tshepo Baholo, 21. Banele Hlophe, 12. Bongani Taaibosch, 9. Adam Fynn, 3. Wandile Luvuno.
UP Tuks: 16. Giovanni Idi (GK), 7. Jurgen Booysen, 5. Simbongile Njokwe (capt), 3. Sabelo Tsambo, 22. Curtis Mathebula, 20. Katlego Motlhatsang, 24. Jerry Tlou, 15 Siphamandla Ntuli, 26. Mathuane Selotola, 10. Mogau Khwinana, 11. Lebohang Montueli.
Replacements: 18. Tyler Den Heyer (GK), 4. Edward Rankwe, 8. Wandile Dlamini, 14 Ross Marshall, 25 Sive Mfala, 9 Nhlanhla Mabaso, 2 Tobatsi Roets.