UP’s reserve side qualified for the knockout stage on goal difference, edging out Kaizer Chiefs who had conceded two more goals in the seven group matches. Good form helped Tuks through the knockout stage, firstly defeating Group B winners Orlando Pirates comfortably with a 5-2 scoreline. The Tuks side then had a semi-final showdown against Tshwane rivals Supersport United, who had already defeated Tuks 1-0 earlier in the group stage. Even though Supersport were favourites to reach the final, the UP side fought back to return from a goal down when Dikgang Ngcobo netted an equaliser to send the match into extra time. The added 30 minutes turned out to be uneventful with the game playing out in the midfield and neither sides having any clear-cut chances. The match then went to a penalty shoot-out. The Tuks penalty takers showed more composure as Supersport missed three of their attempts, handing Tuks a 3-2 win on penalties.
Tuks now face Mamelodi Sundowns in the final on 28 February at the Nike Football Stadium in Soweto. With both sides having peaked at the right time there is no obvious favourite. The winner of the match will not only be rewarded with a trophy and gold medals, but bragging rights for Pretoria’s best side will also be up for grabs as Tuks compete in their second Tshwane derby of the knockout stage. On top of that, the champions will fly to the Netherlands to attend a four-day training camp at the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and play a friendly match against a Bundesliga outfit in Germany.
At the time of going to print, AmaTuks were getting ready to play in the final. Find out about the results on Perdeby.co.za.
An AmaTuks player challenging a Bloemfontein Celtic player. Image: SoccerLaduma.co.za