Home Sport Stellenbosch into Top 8 slot after win over Amazulu

Stellenbosch into Top 8 slot after win over Amazulu

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The encounter unfolded between two of the division’s most in-form teams, taking place in cool and cloudy weather in Durban as both sides aimed to build on their pre-International break performances.

Ismael Toure of Stellenbosch FC challenges Augustine Kwem of AmaZulu FC during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on the 25 November 2023. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

A SOLITARY goal by Oura Anicet proved decisive as Stellenbosch secured a 1-0 victory over AmaZulu in the DStv Premiership clash at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. This win halted AmaZulu’s positive streak and propelled Stellies into the top eight of the Premiership standings, marking their fifth win in the last six matches.

The encounter unfolded between two of the division’s most in-form teams, taking place in cool and cloudy weather in Durban as both sides aimed to build on their pre-International break performances.

Usuthu’s head coach, Pablo Franco, welcomed key figures back to his defensive line, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele leading the backline, and Rowan Human making his first official league start of the campaign.

Stellies’ head coach, Steve Barker, strategically deployed Fawaaz Basadien at left back to counter AmaZulu’s wing play, with Anicet providing additional cover. The prospect of climbing into a potential top-eight spot seemed to motivate Stellies, evident in their strong defensive play and dangerous counterattacks.

The breakthrough came in the 31st minute when Anicet capitalized on chaos in the AmaZulu box. Winger Devin Titus, after a well-weighted pass, saw his shot blocked by goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, but Anicet was quick to tap the ball into an empty net.

A chance for a second goal emerged when Iqraam Rayners had an opportunity, but his effort went over the bar. AmaZulu’s first real chance fell to Celimpilo Ngema, but his tame effort was parried wide by goalkeeper Sage Stephens.

In the second half, Sage’s heroics continued as he saved a penalty from Usuthu striker Sede Dion after 50 minutes. Despite AmaZulu piling on the pressure, Stellenbosch held on for the remainder of the game.

The final 20 minutes saw AmaZulu intensifying their efforts to equalize, but Stellenbosch defended resolutely. Stellenbosch will carry their good form to the Athlone Stadium for a clash against Western Cape rivals Cape Town Spurs, while AmaZulu will have a week of rest before their Carling Knockout Cup semi-final against TS Galaxy next Saturday.

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