Cape Town - The University of Pretoria's players were over the moon after winning the MultiChoice Diski Challenge trophy on Saturday.
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They edged their rivals Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 on penalties after the match ended in a 2-all draw.
Tuks scored first in the 13th minute through Botshelo Mfulwane but the lead didn’t last long as Rheece Evans headed a free kick into the back of the net.
Veteran striker Rodney Ramagalela netted the second for Sundowns ten minutes into extra time. Dikgang Ngcobo got the equaliser with nine minutes remaining to send the clash into penalties.
Mfulwane and Ronald Ketjijere were able to beat Thela Ngobeni with their spot-kicks while Sundowns only converted once through Lebohang Mokoena.
"It feels really great you know. The boys worked hard and it is really great that we went all the way, especially considering it was the inaugural tournament. It also puts us in the history books, so we are grateful," said captain Grant Kekana to Supersport.com
Keeper Lebogang Ngubeni had a superb match and kept his form during the shootouts where he saved two while Sundowns had a further two kicks missing the target.
"It's a great feeling, it was a bit tight and challenging. We are grateful that we won as we worked hard for it. So it’s a great thing for us," Ngubeni said.
The young goal minder also talked about his heroics during the penalties.
"I can say that (I was confident), because normally that's what I do best. When we go to penalties I save them. Even the coach told me, when we go there I know what to do. They believe in me and I did them proud."
Thinking about Netherlands
Maruping also revealed his excitement and praised his teammates for delivering on his absence.
"I don't know how to feel, the boys are so excited. They are thinking about Netherlands already. They fought hard, I was outside watching them and I wished I could be with them on the field, but unfortunately circumstances couldn't allow me.
"But I just want to say I'm happy for this. I don’t know how to even explain it. Thank you to MultiChoice, thanks to the boys, thanks to the technical team of University of Pretoria. And well done to the boys, they worked hard, they deserve it," concluded Maruping.
The excitement was also echoed by left-back Junior Sibande, who had a busy afternoon battling the opponents' forwards.
"Obviously I feel happy. It was tough but we managed to fight and ended up winning the tournament. We worked hard for it, even at training the coach told us to plan according to the instructions and we did so. That's why we won, I'm very happy."
Versatile winger Sifiso Nzimande, who created the first goal, also expressed his joy, "We are happy, the team and everyone is happy. There was that fear (after conceding in extra time), but we told ourselves that we are going to continue to fight."
Striker Ngcobo, who finished the tournament on three goals, was pleased that they were able to win the trophy.
"Obviously it's a great feeling, we are happy with the gents. We've worked hard, even at training. It's been a long journey, we've worked hard for it, I'm so happy," he said.
Lanky striker Lucky Mathosi, who made his return having been with the first team, was happy with the success too.
"It's a great feeling to win, at least we doing something right. It shows that the work is being done in the developments."