NMMU successfully defends titleDate Released: Sat, 18 August 2012 15:00 +0200
By Nontsikelelo Mpulo
Even a power failure at Prospect Field could not dampen the spirits of the NMMU team that faced WSU in the intervarsity women’s soccer final on Friday (17 August). Coming off the back of their 3-2 victory against UFH, the team came onto the field full of confidence.
They broke through WSU’s porous defence to make a goal attempt in the first five minutes of the game, and they continued to search for the opener. The goal came 20 minutes into the game, when a top goal scorer for NMMU, Susan Wells, delivered a corner straight to midfielder Christine Vorster, who tapped it over the keeper’s head.
Shortly thereafter the pitch was plunged into darkness. Play was interrupted for 30 minutes as a result of overloading. Electricians were called to the scene and got the lights up and running and officials allowed the teams to play the remaining 15 minutes of the first half. Lebohang Mbatha scored a blistering goal to put NMMU 2- 0 up before the whistle blew for half time.
After the break, WSU came out fighting. They made two goal attempts in the first 10 minutes and continued to put pressure on NMMU. Their opponents, however, played a good defensive game, never giving an inch. They continued to push forward on the flanks with striker Mbatha leading the attack. She scored her second goal of the match in the dying minutes of the game, which meant that NMMU comfortably won 3-0.
On winning the intervarsity title for the third time in a row, Mbatha said, “It feels amazing to contribute towards winning tournament and successfully defending the trophy. We are true champions.”
Her coach, Douleen Whitebooi, said that the team could have performed better but that she was happy with the result. “The team has a fighting spirit and they are working as a team. I’m pleased with that.”
WSU coach Simphiwe Ngqubekile was gracious in defeat, saying, “NMMU were clearly the superior team. Our girls missed chances up front and NMMU were strong at the back.” Rhodes University faces Fort Hare for the third and fourth place play-off on Saturday at 09h00.
Produced by 2012 Intervarsity Sports Media group, a partnership between Activate, RMR, School of Journalism and Media Studies, Sports Administration and Communications and Marketing.
The women’s soccer reigning champions, NMMU, defeat WSU with a 3-0 win. The team celebrates their victory.
Photo: Niamh Walsh-Vorster