Mission accomplished for Tuks

A 2-0 win over FC AK at the Absa Tuks Stadium on Sunday sees the University of Pretoria finishing second in the Inland Stream of the First Division and sealing their place in the play-offs.

Third-placed Black Leopards managed to beat United FC 1-0, which was job done as far as they were concerned, but of little consequence due to Tuks’ win, the result seeing the University side ending two points above the Limpopo club.

Lidoda Duvha therefore remain in third spot and now turn their attention back to the Nedbank Cup.

There was final-day drama in the Coastal Stream – in Bethlehem in the Free State, Hanover Park completed a 3-1 win over Carara Kicks to give themselves a chance of sealing an amazing escape act, haven taken six points from their final two games

However, down in East London, Nathi Lions held their never to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1, finishing a point above Hanover Park and condemning the Cape side to the Second Division next season.

Coastal Stream league winners Bay United ended their campaign on a disappointing note as they lost 3-1 to Thanda Royal Zulu, who finish just a point behind the PE side to book their own place in the play-offs.

In the Mother City, home side FC Cape Town completed their campaign with a defeat, going down 1-0 to NFD rookies African Wanderers.

Back to the Absa Tuks Stadium in Tshwane, where the first half saw FC AK playing the more inventive, intricate football as they regularly raided the final third of the field, but the home defence, well marshalled by Lawrence Phiri was for the most part able to keep chances to a minimum.

There was an early opportunity for visiting striker Richard Danse, but he dragged his sixth minute wide of goal.

Tuks immediately created a chance of their own as they broke up-field, but Nqobile Mpala was unable to beat FC AK keeper Brighton Mhlongo, who palmed away the downward header.

The University side missed another good chance to take the lead when following a sweeping move down the left, Thokozani Sekotlong lifted the ball over the bar from a perfect position 12-yards out.

The visiting team hit back a minute later at the other end of the field, but they were denied a goal when Siya Mngoma did well to dive across and save Joshua Saul’s rasping, angled drive.

The play continued to flow from end to end as Tuks used their pace on the break to good effect and FC AK custodian Mhlongo did well to stop Njabulo Ntusi from slamming in a near post shot into the roof of the net.

Tuks appeared more settled and seemed to grow stronger after the break and got the all-important goal in the 57th minute when skipper Joseph Mthombeni strode into the box to side-foot home from close range after an inch-perfect cross by left wing Aubrey Mgoma.

Five minutes later the advantage was doubled when Sekotlong stole in at the near post to glance a header over the goal-line.

That’s how the score-line remained up until the final whistle as Steve Barker’s side cruised through the remainder of the game safe in the knowledge that Leopards were powerless to stop them booking their place in the play-offs next week.

Other final-day action in the Inland Stream saw champions Jomo Cosmos ending with a bang – they beat Witbank Spurs 3-2.

 Finally, already-relegated Batau FC scored a rare victory when they went to Giyani and beat Dynamos 2-1, not enough to stop their slide straight back into the third tier.-PSL 

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