Stellenbosch Football Club

Barker pleased to overcome ‘tricky’ Callies clash

Img 4604

Steve Barker has credited his team for overcoming a ‘tricky’ challenge following Stellenbosch FC’s penalty shootout win over Pretoria Callies in the Nedbank Cup Round of 32.

Stellenbosch FC advanced to the next round of the Nedbank Cup on Friday after recording a hard-fought 1-1 (4-3) win over Motsepe Foundation Championship side Pretoria Callies in the Round of 32.

“Firstly, I want to congratulate Pretoria Callies,” Barker said. “I thought they came with a really good attitude and delivered a spirited performance, they didn’t make it easy for us.

Match report: Stellenbosch FC 1 (4) – 1 (3) Pretoria Callies

“They didn’t allow us any space. They were aware that we like to have that space in behind to attack and didn’t really allow us to have it, so credit must go to them for staying in the game and taking it to the wire with the late equaliser.

“If truth be told, we were the better team in my opinion, we created a lot of chances. Deano van Rooyen was in behind and just needed to pick a corner, and then we subsequently hit the post. We had a lot of box entries and opportunities and didn’t really have too much to deal with at the other end.

“I believe we deserved to win the game in the end based on the balance of play.

Read | Barker: The Nedbank Cup is the Cup of Dreams

“What is pleasing in a sense is that these games are always tricky. It’s not easy to play teams from a lower division because they come here with nothing to lose. Players want to showcase their abilities and come with a lot of fight and spirit.

“If you don’t get that second or third goal, you give the opposition hope and we gave them hope and they took their opportunity. Going to penalties is always, it can always go either way, but we’ve been working really hard on our penalty shootouts after losing a few in the past.

“We’ve made it a point that we will be as best prepared as we can be for penalties, so went into the shootout with confidence.

Community | SFC supports inaugural Oshwin Andries Memorial Festival

“What I’m seeing about the team currently is that we are finding ways to win football matches. That’s important, even if you’re not at your best like against Callies where we weren’t clinical, to find ways to win.

“The most important thing is to get into the next round, because once you’re in the next round there are only 16 teams left and then there’s no reason not to attempt to go all the win in the Nedbank Cup.”