The Madibaz ended their 2015 Varsity Football campaign with a bang when they beat log leaders the University of the Western Cape at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday night.
The team from NMMU claimed a 2-1 victory over UWC to notch up their first win of the tournament and move up one position to finish seventh overall.
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They also handed the Western Cape side their first defeat of the competition in the process.
“We’re obviously very happy because we wanted to end on a high note,” said Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison.
The visitors went on the attack from the start, but the Madibaz fought back with striker Cloudius Sagandira opening the scoring in the 20th minute.
The home side doubled their lead less than two minutes later when Achuma Klaas broke through UWC’s defence off an accurate cross from captain Athini Bisha to secure a well-executed goal.
Thulani Mkosi took one back for the visitors in the 32nd minute but the Madibaz managed to hold on to their lead going into half-time.
Content to defend their lead in the second half, the PE-based team held UWC at bay until the final whistle.
“We had nothing to lose so we played with a lot of freedom, which comes with a lot of risk, but it paid off,” said Harrison.
After playing five consecutive away games, he said it had been a thrill for the team to play before their home fans for the last two fixtures.
Harrison said that going around the country they could see how the support the teams received helped to spur the players on and give them that extra push to perform.
“The same was evident with the crowd behind us. The boys put up a fantastic show and they executed well, which paid off because we came away with the victory.”
According to him, the tournament had been a learning curve for a largely inexperienced team and that this year’s competition had been about developing the future of Madibaz football.
“We have a lot of young, new players in the squad this year but the flipside is that they can take this experience and use it to build for the future.”
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