Stellenbosch move into Top 8 berth after win over AmaZulu, Golden Arrows defeat Swallows
Cape Town — Stellenbosch FC finally moved into a Top 8 berth after a well-taken 2-0 lead over KZN visitors AmaZulu in their DStv Premiership clash at the Danie Craven Stadium on Friday evening.
The win allowed Stellenbosch to move from 10th to seventh place on the log. It was a significant step up for Stellenbosch after they spent most of the season in the bottom half of the standings.
AmaZulu dropped down from eighth to ninth place.
AmaZulu struck up early cohesion and that allowed them to enjoy territorial dominance and Stellenbosch was forced to settle for a defensive role.
Their early pressure would have paid off but a free-kick by Malawian Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango was held by an upright and no one was at hand to pounce on the rebound. The Stellenbosch defence remained strikingly static as Mhango’s shot was goalbound.
After 10 minutes, Stellenbosch managed to undo AmaZulu’s grip on the match with a few fast-paced sorties, mostly down the middle. One of these attacks paved the way for the opening score when Iqraam Rayners netted in the 17th minute. Rayners has now scored in six successive matches.
Argentinian Júnior Mendieta, Stellenbosch’s attacking midfielder, should have doubled his side’s lead but AmaZulu keeper Veli Mothwa smothered his parting shot in a one-on-one face-off, plumb in front of the posts.
Early in the second-half play, both keepers Lee Langeveldt (Stellenbosch) and Mothwa pulled off great saves but on the hour mark Stellenbosch should have scored goal No 2. Midfielder Devin Titus had dribbled past Mothwa but then his shot struck the upright when the nets were unguarded.
Moments later, Mendieta let rip with a scorcher from outside AmaZulu’s penalty area but the shot flew over the crossbar. Rayners also missed a sitter after Titus unselfishly teed him up.
In the 76th minute, Titus scored after a brilliant solo effort as he ran in from 20 metres out before slipping the ball past Mothwa as Stellenbosch finally doubled their lead.
As it turned out, it was a match-winning 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, at the Dobsonville Stadium, in Soweto, visiting Golden Arrows scored a 1-0 win over hosts Swallows.
Attacking midfielder Pule Mmodi scored the only goal in the match in the 15th minute.
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