Madibaz keep their second spot

Mthetho Ndoni

THE NMMU Madibaz soccer side maintained their unbeaten record in the Varsity Football Challenge competition when they drew 1-1 against North West University (NWU) in Mafikeng on Monday.

The home side drew first blood when their striker Otlaarongwa Rantese scored in the first half before he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Madibaz’s defender Niven Kops.

The Port Elizabeth-based varsity made use of their advantage when substitute Kieran Koert followed up well on a ball that bounced off the NWU’s crossbar to strike home the equaliser in the 82nd minute. NWU desperately searched for a late winning goal, but they failed to shake the NMMU defence and were forced to share the spoils with a determined PE side.

NMMU are in second position on the log with eight points from four games, trailing logleaders Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) by two points, while the highly-rated NWU are in third place with seven points.

Madibaz manager Mark Tommy said the game produced an excellent result for both teams.

“NWU is one of the strongest football teams in the varsity circle and we knew it was going to be tough playing against them in Mafikeng,” he said.

“I applaud my players because they played their hearts out and dropping two points in two consecutive matches doesn’t worry us because we still have second spot and that position is a ticket to the semifinals.”

Tommy said the Madibaz’s players took the game to the home side and they created many good scoring opportunities.

“We need to do more to defend our position and scoring more goals will give us a chance to qualify for the semifinals.”

Kops was named the man of the match for the second time in the competition.

The Madibaz’s team have produced four man of the match players since the start of the tournament.

Madibaz play their first home game when they host Wits at the NMMU Stadium on Monday.

  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) played to a 1-1 draw against University of Free State (UFS) to keep their spot at the top.

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