A stunning flurry of second-half goals from Deano van Rooyen, Jayden Adams, and Iqraam Rayners earned Stellenbosch FC a 3-1 come-from-behind win over Royal AM on Friday evening.
Stellenbosch FC returned to winning ways in the DStv Premiership on Friday after recording an impressive 3-1 win over Royal AM at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, courtesy of second-half goals from Deano van Rooyen, Jayden Adams, and Iqraam Rayners.
The Maroons made a fast start to the match and had a chance early on through former Royal AM midfielder Andre De Jong, whose aerial threat proved to be a thorn in the opposition’s side throughout the duration of the encounter.
However, it was the hosts who scored first against the run of play, with Hopewell Cele capitalising on a defensive lapse to punish the Maroons with a well-taken finish with half an hour played on the clock.
Steve Barker’s side looked to hit back immediately and came agonisingly close just minutes later when Royal AM ‘keeper Zakahle Ngcobo pulled off a smart double save to deny Fawaaz Basadien and Genino Palace in quick succession.
Devin Titus and De Jong both missed the target from respective half-chances soon after as Stellenbosch went into the half-time break trailing by a goal to nil and ruing their missed opportunities in front of goal.
The response in the second half was exactly as the coach would have wished for, however, as Deano van Rooyen fired Stellenbosch level just eight minutes after the restart, side-footing home the equaliser after a passage magical interplay between himself and Titus.
Not to be undone by Van Rooyen’s wonder goal, Jayden Adams fired Stellenbosch into the lead in the 70th minute with an equally impressive effort, sitting down opposition defender Lesego Manganyi before cooly finessing the ball into the net beyond Ngcobo’s reach.
Two goals quickly became three for Stellies who found the back of the net again just two minutes later when Iqraam Rayners, scorer of 15 goals last season, opened his account for the 2023/24 campaign with a powerful left-footed effort.
That’s ultimately how things remained as the Maroons saw out the remaining 20 minutes of the match to claim the victory and climb to third position in the league standings ahead of the weekend’s other fixtures.