Stellenbosch FC hammer TS Galaxy to advance to Nedbank Cup quarter-finals

Cape Town — Stellenbosch FC kept the Cape Town flag flying with a runaway 6-3 win over TS Galaxy in their Nedbank Cup last-16 clash at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday after leading 2-1 at halftime.

The second half produced six goals and from the time Stellenbosch took a 4-1 lead the result was never in doubt.

TS Galaxy who have been making headlines over the last while because their players have reportedly not been paid produced a brave first-half performance, but found themselves trailing 2-1.

Their German coach Sead Ramovic used a 4-3-1-2 formation and instead of sitting back and waiting for the opposition to come at them, as they usually do, TS Galaxy tried to impose themselves on the match from the start.

In their eagerness to exert an early high press, Stellenbosch right winger Devin Titus set off out wide and after he slipped past one defender, he produced a cracking shot into the roof of the net for a third-minute goal.

TS Galaxy seemed to be in control on the back of a 60% possession advantage and they kept pressing in the final third until they struck in the dying minutes of halftime. TS Galaxy midfielder Yaimil Medina converted from the penalty spot after his teammate Orebotse Mongae was fouled plumb in front of the Stellenbosch posts.

Stellenbosch’s response was immediate and a penetrative attacking sortie down the centre of the field saw the Argentina-born Junior Mendieta tearing goalwards and was upended in the TS Galaxy goalmouth by defender MacBeth Mahlangu.

Striker Iqraam Rayners who has been enjoying a rich vein of form, which has seen him score six goals in five matches, stepped up and sent TS Galaxy’s Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper Vasilije Kolak the wrong way with a deft spot kick, three minutes into the referee’s added time.

On the evidence of television replays, referee Sikhumbuzo Gasa was spot-on with both penalty calls. After the two penalties, Stellenbosch regained the lead by the time the teams made their way to the change-rooms.

The 2-1 scoreline was a scant return for TS Galaxy whose attacking intent allowed them to enjoy a 5-0 first-half corner count, but they were unable to exploit their good fortunes.

It was one-way traffic in the second half as Stellenbosch oozed far too much class, which TS Galaxy were unable to contain or match. Two of their “foreign legion” New Zealand-born Andre de Jong and Mendieta added their names onto the scoresheet.

De Jong scored in the 57th minute after TS Galaxy’s rearguard failed to deal with a goalmouth cross and the New Zealander scrambled the ball into the net from an acute angle.

Seven minutes later, Stellenbosch again made their final third entry count as Rayners shrug off his markers and fed Mendieta with a scoring feed and at 4-1 the game looked beyond TS Galaxy who refused to roll over and die.

TS Galaxy fought gallantly to the end and it made for a dramatic finish, which came about as they scored a penalty by substitute Masilake Phohlongo and Rayners added another goal moments later.

As if that was not dramatic enough, TS Galaxy were denied a goal after the referee ruled an infringement. But still, it wasn’t the end of the goal glut after Kamogelo Sebelebele (TS Galaxy) and Ibraheem Jabaar (Stellenbosch) closed out the nine-goal thriller.


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