A spirited 10-man display from Stellenbosch FC was not enough to stave off defeat as Steve Barker’s troops fell to a 2-0 DStv Premiership loss to Kaizer Chiefs at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday.
In a quick turnaround from last weekend’s match against SuperSport United, Stellenbosch were back in action on Wednesday evening when the club welcomed Kaizer Chiefs to Athlone Stadium in Athlone, Cape Town.
The first half of the encounter proved to be an enthralling affair with both teams looking to attack, although it was arguably the hosts who enjoyed the better share of the ball and chances during the opening 45 minutes of the match.
Andre De Jong tested Chiefs ‘keeper Brandon Petersen in the 14th minute and Deano van Rooyen sent a diving header just wide shortly after the half-hour mark before Devin Titus saw a powerful left-footed drive saved just moments later.
However, Barker’s side couldn’t find the breakthrough, and they were punished shortly after the restart when Pule Mmodi fired the Amakhosi into the lead with an unstoppable long-range effort at goal.
Things went from bad to worse five minutes later when Titus was shown a red card for a second bookable offense, leaving Stellies to fight with 10 men for the remaining half an hour of the encounter.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Stellenbosch still looked more threatening in attack and Iqraam Rayners came close to leveling matters, only to be denied by a smart low save from Man of the Match Petersen.
The equalising goal ultimately never materialised for the team from the Cape Winelands and instead, it was Chiefs who sealed the victory when Christian Saile was left unmarked at the far post to head home from a set piece right at the death.
Wednesday’s result sees Stellenbosch slip to 11th in the DStv Premiership standings but all attention turns to the weekend when the club returns to Athlone to take on Orlando Pirates in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-finals.