Vuyisile Ntombayithethi of University of Pretoria © Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Wednesday May 11, 2016. 21:51
University of Pretoria are now the clear favourites to suffer direct relegation from the Absa Premiership after their 2-2 draw away to Polokwane City saw them drop to the bottom of the log on Wednesday evening.
Polokwane opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute, with Sipho Jembula’s shot from just outside the penalty area deflecting off a Tuks defender and completely wrong-footing goalkeeper Tristyn Coetsee on its way to the back of the net.
Yet the University side did not allow that early setback to get them down and they equalised in the 18th minute, with Khetu Zwane firing home a superb left-footed shot from a tight angle that went in via the underside of the crossbar.
The remainder of the first half – and much of the second half – was a scrappy affair, with both teams struggling to produce quality football. However, in the 70th minute, AmaTuks showed some class to claim the lead for the first time, with Vuyisile Ntombayithethi providing a towering header from a corner kick to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Yet just as their attack clicked into place, Tuks’ defence went AWOL just four minutes later, allowing a simple cross from the right to fall at the feet of the dangerous Thobani Mncwango, who fired home his 12th league goal of the season to make it 2-2.
Tuks pushed hard in what remained of the match to find a winner, but their efforts were in vain. The Tshwane side will need a win at home to Golden Arrows in their final match on May 21 if they are to have any hopes of avoiding the drop.
Polokwane City (1) 2 (Jembula 8’, Mncwango 74’)
University of Pretoria (1) 2 (Zwane 18’, Ntombayithethi 70’)
Polokwane: Chigova, Phungwayo, Tshilo, Seabi, Ngobe (Ndou 80’), Hlongwane, Mbonani, Manaka, Jembula, Mncwango, Kanyenda
U Pretoria: Coetsee, Jaure (Ngubane 74’), Mwedihanga, Mthethwa, Sibande, Ntombayithethi, Zwane, Mnyamane (Mfulwane 87’), Maruping, Bacela, Nyondo (Nkoana 69’)