Varsities’ best face off

2013-09-15 06:00

And there were two.

For eight weeks, eight tertiary institutions have been battling it out in the Varsity Football Challenge. University of Pretoria (Tuks) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Madibaz are the last two teams standing.

The two institutions will contest tomorrow’s final of the maiden competition, which has changed the face of university sport.

Monday nights have never been so popular, thanks to the Football Challenge, which has been an instant hit with supporters.

The tournament has helped market the players to the professional teams with a few already making inquiries.

Tomorrow’s final at Tuks Stadium at 7.30pm will see the unbeaten Madibaz take on the hosts, who recovered well after losing their first game 4-1 to Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

Tuks coach Evangelos Vellios said it was not how you started but how you ended that was important. He said many people wrote his team off after the first game.

“We recovered well and we are looking forward to a great final (tomorrow). This has been a good tournament for our boys and we are ready,” said Vellios.

The two teams played to a 1-1 draw last month and Vellios said they expected a tough encounter.

Madibaz team manager Mark Tommy said the tournament had put his institution on the map as a force in university football after nobody had given them a chance.

“We defied all the odds as we are the only unbeaten team so far and our aim is to finish like that. We want to make history by becoming the first side to lift this trophy,” said Tommy.

He said that the team had thrived in tough situations that have forced them to push themselves, and he expected the same tomorrow.

»?In the women’s category, TUT will play the University of Johannesburg at 4.30pm at the same venue.

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