Stellenbosch FC’s seven-match unbeaten run across all competitions came to an end on Saturday afternoon after the club suffered a 2-1 DStv Premiership defeat away to Kaizer Chiefs.
Former Stellenbosch FC forward Ashley Du Preez and Keagan Dolly scored for Chiefs either side of a Sage Stephens red card.
Ibraheem Jabaar pulled one back for Stellies immediately after the half-time break.
The narrow defeat saw Stellies’ seven match unbeaten streak across all competitions come to an end.
In the first match since the conclusion of the international break, Steve Barker’s side travelled to Johannesburg where they were welcomed by a resurgent Kaizer Chiefs outfit at the FNB Stadium.
The opening stanza saw both teams look to play positive football but it was the hosts who struck first through the boot of a familiar figure, as former Stellenbosch star Ashley Du Preez opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Olwethu Makhanya in the box moments before.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Stellies as goalkeeper Sage Stephens was shown a red card just five minutes later for handling the ball outside of the box.
Attacker Devin Titus was the unfortunate player who had to make way for substitute ‘keeper Lee Langeveldt to take to the field, and the latter was helpless to prevent Chiefs from doubling their lead in the 25th minute when Keagan Dolly found the back of the net with a deflected effort.
The hosts looked to add to their advantage and came close soon after through Du Preez, and Barker responded with a tactical tweak, bringing Qobolwakhe Sibande and Andre de Jong off for Fawaaz Basadien and Jayden Adams with seven minutes remaining in the half.
His side was able to hold out until the half-time whistle after which Nhlanhla Mgaga was introduced at the restart in place of Sihle Nduli, and the midfielder made an immediate impact on the encounter.
With most of the supporters still finding their seats for the start of the second half, Ibraheem Jabaar made a perfectly-timed run to latch onto a pass from Mgaga before deftly dinking the ball beyond the outstretched arms of Amakhosi goalkeeper Brandon Petersen.
The Nigeria youth international’s goal spurred the 10-men of Stellenbosch on to push for an equalising goal but a succession of fouls saw the second-half descend into a stop-start affair, although Juan Ortiz came close at the death to levelling matters.
With the final kick off the match, the Venezuelan midfielder, making his first appearance since suffering an ACL injury in May last year, looked to curl an effort into the right-hand corner of Chiefs’ goal but saw his shot well saved by Petersen, whose late repel ensured the home side took all three points on the day.