Stellenbosch Football Club

Stellies claim hard-fought point against Sundowns

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Stellenbosch F.C claimed a hard-fought point against Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday after playing out a 1-1 draw against the DStv Premiership league leaders.

  • Iqraam Rayners netted a late equaliser after Cassius Mailula had scored for Sundowns.
  • The result ended the guests’ 15-match winning streak in the league.
  • Stellies are now unbeaten in five matches across all competitions.

Steve Barker’s side welcomed Mamelodi Sundowns to the Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday on the back of four consecutive wins across all competitions, but faced an opponent who were on an impressive streak of their own having won each of their last 15 league encounters, dating back to September last year.

The encounter lived up to the billing as both teams looked to play attacking football and opportunities to score arose at either end of the pitch, with Junior Mendieta among the Stellies players who tested the opposition goal with an acrobatic effort that was comfortably saved.

A number of chances followed from set-piece situations for the hosts but they weren’t able to capitalise and the two teams went into the half-time break with the scores level, while rain continued to pummel the pitch on a wet day in Stellenbosch.

Deano van Rooyen became Stellenbosch F.C.’s all-time record appearance holder after making his 115th appearance for the club across all competitions. The record was previously held by Rafiq De Goede.

It was more of the same following the interval before Sundowns struck first, with Cassius Mailula reacting quickest to a loose ball in the box to score the opener in the 77th minute of the game after Stellenbosch failed to properly clear their lines.

Not to be undone, Barker’s charges pushed for an equalizer and were presented with a glorious opportunity to level the scores in the 87th minute when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after substitute Qobolwakhe Sibande was felled in the box.

Iqraam Rayners stepped up and duly converted his effort – his sixth goal in four matches since re-joining Stellenbosch in January – to ensure that the hosts walked away with a share of the points against the champions-elect.