Stellenbosch FC maintained a winning start at the Premier League Next Generation Cup after defeating ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday.
Fresh from an opening day victory over Bengaluru earlier this week, Stellies’ U-21s made it two wins on the trot by defeating Group A rivals ATK Mohun Bagan by a 2-0 scoreline at Reliance Park in Mumbai.
Evangelos Vellios’ side started as they meant to continue and threatened with a promising attack as earlier as the third minute, with Roy-Keane Avontuur firing an effort on target.
Shortly thereafter, a passage of neat interplay between Avontuur, Azola Jakalashe, and Kyle Bailey resulted in the latter drilling a powerful just wide of the opposition goal.
Chances continued to come and Antonio van Wyk had a free-kick saved from a promising position before Jakalashe tested the ‘keeper not long after.
The duo were then involved in the opening goal of the match with just under half an hour played as Van Wyk’s corner fell to Avontuur, whose blocked effort fell kindly to Jakalashe, and he made no mistake from close range.
His goal was enough to see Stellies head into the break with the lead, but Evangelos Vellios’ side were made to defend valiantly in the second half as ATK threatened early from a succession of set-piece situations.
It was at the other end where the decisive goal would be scored, however, as Avontuur raced clear of the defence before lobbing the ball over the head of the on-rushing ‘keeper.
The local side continued to press in search of a way back into the game and their best chance from another set-piece, but Dejean Ah Shene was on hand to save and hold a well-struck free-kick.
Nande Jojwana had a late chance to add a third for the team from South Africa after good interplay with Avontuur but saw his effort denied.
There would be no denying Stellenbosch, however, as the Maroons emerged with an important 2-0 victory ahead of Tuesday’s crunch encounter against West Ham United.