Even though they have produced some modest results in the Varsity Football competition this season, the University of Johannesburg remain fully focused on securing a semi-final spot.
Their remaining matches are against Wits on Monday and University of Fort Hare on August 29.
After five rounds the race for the top four places is wide open and UJ are still in contention despite securing just one win.
The results of other matches mean UJ are just one point off the play-off berths. They have five points, the same as UP-Tuks, but the Pretoria side are placed fourth due to having earned a bonus point.
University of Western Cape (UWC) are in third on seven points, also having won just one game, while the top two spots are filled by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) on 13 points and Central University of Technology (CUT) with 11.
Soccer manager Joel Kgokong said the team were ready to do what was necessary to reach the semis.
“Any chance we have of reaching the semi-finals is based on our last two games,” he said.
“We don’t disrespect any teams but if we are not able to take our chances against those two sides below us on the log we don’t deserve to be at the top level.”
He said they took the competition seriously and everyone knew what was at stake.
“We are in it to win it so we are focused on those two matches and the spirit in the camp is positive.
“I have seen how disappointed the boys have been after every match where we have not had a positive result and this tells me how much it means to them.”
Kgokong said the team had often matched their opponents in general play this season but had been let down by poor finishing.
“We have created plenty of chances but we need to be ruthless when we get into the 18-yard area. That’s what the coaches have been working on this week.”
He cited the game against UWC on Monday as a typical example, with UJ having around 20 shots at goal without success.
“Then UWC create one chance which they take and we lose the match 1-0.”
Kgokong said the team were not looking too far ahead and would focus first on Monday’s match against Wits before assessing their position in the remainder of the competition.
CAPTION: Ntokozo Tshabalala of UJ (left) and Nhlanhla Manana of UWC tussle for possession in their Varsity Football clash in Cape Town on August 15. Photo: Saspa