Stellenbosch claimed revenge over Orlando Pirates with a 1-0 win in an Absa Premiership match played at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a smash-and-grab effort from the Cape side, who scored a goal against the run of play through Iqraam Rayners and then put in a superb defensive display to secure three points, which both takes them above the Buccaneers into ninth place and secures revenge for a loss at the hands of the Soweto team in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout last weekend.
Pirates dominated the opening phase of the match and had a couple of notable attacking moments, with Tshegofatso Mabasa shooting just wide on the turn, while the same attacker also charged down a clearance from goalkeeper Boy De Jong but was not able to capitalise.
However, it was Stellenbosch who opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Iqraam Rayners picked up a poor square pass from Alfred Ndengane, drove forward and sent a low shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to put the hosts ahead against the run of play.
The goal boosted Stellies’ confidence and the Cape side began putting together some fast-paced attacks, calling Sandilands into some significant action as the pace and movement of Waseem Isaacs and Rayners pulled the Bucs defence all over the park.
Pirates re-established control in terms of possession, but their attempts to find an equaliser before the halftime interval were thwarted by a solid defence from Stellenbosch. The Soweto side then made a double change early in the second half, introducing Kabelo Dlamini and Frank Mhango to boost their attack.
Pirates again dominated possession and tested De Jong with a couple of sharp efforts, but the longer they remained a goal down the more their frustration grew. In addition, the Buccaneers lacked the precision and creativity to consistently open up their hosts’ defence.
Stellies had a couple of good chances to extend their lead with efforts on the counter attack, including an ambitious long-range attempt from Marc van Heerden which nearly caught Sandilands out of position.
Pirates nearly broke through in the 79th minute when substitute Justin Shonga met a right-flank cross and glanced a header toward goal, but his effort rebounded off the outside of the near post, while 10 minutes later Mabasa hit the same piece of woodwork with an acrobatic volley.
That proved to be the last hurrah for Pirates, who slumped to a third league loss of the 2019/20 campaign, while Stellies racked up a second successive victory.
Stellenbosch (1) 1 (Rayners 21’)
Orlando Pirates 0