NMMU'S Madibaz will adopt an attacking game plan in their Varsity Football Challenge final against Tuks in Pretoria tonight (7pm).
Madibaz coach Lukhanyo Wasa said the team would make slight changes to the strategy they used when they beat TUT in last week's semifinals.
"We want to push our players forward as much as we can to force the opposing side to defend more, and once they defend too much they are bound to make mistakes at the back," Wasa said.
"An early goal will give us an advantage in putting pressure on them and we've got players such as [Lukhanyo] Rasmeni who are brave enough to take on players."
Tuks coach Evangelos Vellios said his team were out to make history by becoming the first side to win the title. "Everyone wrote us off in the competition but we just carried ourselves in the way that we know how and we're in the final and we're in it to win it," Vellios said.
"We just have to stay focused and remain grounded. It's not done and dusted yet – we still have to win the game."
These two tertiary institutions reached the final after knocking out North West University and Tshwane University of Technology respectively in the semifinals of the competition last week.
In the round-robin stage, Tuks hosted the Madibaz and the teams played to a dull 1-1 draw.
But this time, Wasa said, the Madibaz were ready for the Tuks even though their supporters' vibe was bound to be intimidating.
"It is easy to read them [Tuks] because we've played against them in the round-robin stages. But we have also sat down with our technical team and the players and reviewed the tapes of their previous games."
Wasa said determination and sacrifices made by his student players were the key to NMMU's success.
He said the Madibaz were competing in four major soccer tournaments – the Port Elizabeth Football Association league, Mayoral Cup, Provincial University Sport SA league and the Varsity Challenge – this season.
"The Varsity Challenge is our major target but we used different players in each and every game of all our tournaments. We are dealing with students here and they are currently writing exams. The technical team have had to balance training sessions and academic times."
He said the Varsity Football Challenge was the most tiring competition this season because the team had to travel a lot, which was very tough mentally.
"We've played six games away out of the eight matches. But we are not complaining too much as we have enjoyed good success on the road."