30 September 2021 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Varsity Sports
Thabo Lesibe, captain of the UFS team, on his way to score the winning goal against Tuks in the semi-final of Varsity Football.

To finish his very last match for the Kovsies as the winning captain of Varsity Football would mean the world to him, says Thabo Lesibe.

The University of the Free State (UFS) men’s team reached the final of Varsity Football for the very first time. They will face the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in Pretoria on Monday, 4 October 2021. The match gets underway at 19:15.

The UFS booked their spot in the final thanks to a 2-1 victory over Tuks in Tuesday’s semi-final.

“It would certainly be the cherry on the cake and the best possible way for me to bow out,” Lesibe said. He is in his final year of study for a Bachelor of Laws, which he started in 2015. Lesibe was responsible for scoring the winning goal from a penalty against Tuks. 

On their way to the semi-finals, Kovsies also defeated the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tuks, and Wits and drew against the North-West University (NWU), Tshwane University of Technology, and the Vaal University of Technology. Their only loss was against UJ (0-1).

“It feels amazing to reach the final. We are all very excited. There is a strong unity in the camp and a common belief. We are playing for something far greater than the eye can see,” the captain said.

According to Lesibe, the pain of 2019 has been a motivator for them in 2021. In the 2019 Varsity Football competition, Kovsies and NWU finished level on log points and with the same goal difference, but NWU progressed to the semis courtesy of scoring nine goals to the UFS’s eight in the group stage.

“When it gets tough on the playing field, we remind ourselves of that disappointment which propelled us, as we did not want to experience that pain again.”

Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, congratulated the team on a successful Varsity Football season. 
“This is a great achievement for the team as well as for the university. You have shown once again that the University of the Free State is home to top sports stars. Following the victory of our Kovsie Netball team, we look forward to adding another title to our sporting achievements this year.”

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