NMMU star in line for 'best goal' prize

AS the Varsity Football Cup draws to a close the attention has shifted to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University player Niven Kops, as he competes against two students from North West University for the title of Samsung Superstrike: Goal of the series.

The former Bay Stars and Bay United player, 26, said the nomination came as a surprise as it was simply a case of being "in the right place at the right time" during their match against Tshwane University of Technology on August 26.

"We were playing up in Pretoria, and losing 2-1 at the time. Our team launched an attack in the last two minutes of the game, so I had to move up with them. It was draw or nothing. Before I knew it the ball was passed to me and I had to react.

"I popped it up with my left foot and bicycled it with the right. I just finished it, the team built it. I still hope it was fancy enough to outdo my competitors Ryan van der Westhuizen and Sylvester Moses, though," the Parkside central defender said.

The Varsity Football Cup runs over eight weeks with games played every Monday. The top eight teams from last year's University Sports South Africa league are invited to compete in the cup for the title of the top football university in the country.

Varsity Cup media liaison officer Marizanne Kok said: "The final will take place on Monday [tonight] at 7pm at the Alfie de Villiers Stadium, Pretoria, where hosts University of Pretoria hope to snatch victory from a determined NMMU team."

Kops, an NMMU B Tech financial management student, said the winner would be announced after the final.

"But our focus now is on the game itself – we can't come this far to fail. We need the win!"

The Samsung Superstrike competition runs alongside the Debonairs Dynamite: Goalie of the series, which establishes the tournament's best save. The winners receive a Samsung S4 cellphone and a R1500 Debonairs voucher respectively.

The overall player of the tournament receives a cheque for R4000 from FNB, a Samsung S4 and a R4000 Debonairs voucher.

If you would like to show your support for the Bay hopeful, follow the links to vote at http://a.pgtb.me/jk6G6 or http://varsitysportssa.com/