Stellenbosch Football Club

Football 2024 Nedbank Cup Semifinal Stellenbosch Fc V Mamelodi Sundowns Danie Craven Stadium

Stellenbosch FC’s Nedbank Cup journey came to an end at the semi-final stage following a 2-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday afternoon.

In a battle between the two current in-form teams in South African football, it was Mamelodi Sundowns who emerged victorious over Stellenbosch FC in their Nedbank Cup semi-final clash at Danie Craven Stadium.

Both teams looked to attack from the onset with the match being played at a frantic pace, and it was the guests, newly crowned as the 2023-24 DStv Premiership champions, who drew first blood with just 12 minutes played on the clock.

With Fawaaz Basadien lying prone following a knock to the head, play continued, and Sundowns capitalised on the numerical advantage down the flank where Khuliso Mudau popped up to fire his side into the lead from a tight angle.

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Stellenbosch almost found an immediate response as Jayden Adams fashioned a half-chance in the box for Anicet Oura, but the Ivorian was only able to fire a scuffed effort directly at Ronwen Williams under pressure from the opposition defence.

Another Stellies attack was cut short by a foul from Divine Lunga, already booked for an earlier challenge, but the defender escaped possible further sanction amid an injury to the assistant referee, who ultimately needed to be replaced by the fourth official.

Immediately following the resumption of play, Iqraam Rayners was picked out from the earlier-awarded free-kick and fired the ball into the back of the net, but the striker was deemed to have made his run too early and was flagged for offside.

Thirteen minutes of stoppage time was added at the end of the half, but neither side was able to change the scoreline, and the hosts went into the dressing room trailing by one goal to nil.

Rayners looked to remedy that situation shortly after the restart but the Bafana Bafana international could only fire his effort wide from a tight angle after sprinting clear of his marker.

The team from the Cape Winelands continued to throw numbers forward at every opportunity but it was at the other end where the next chances fell, with goalscorer Mudau twice forcing Stellies ‘keeper Oscarine Masuluke to make saves at his near post.

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Sundowns then found their second goal of the day through substitute Thembinkosi Lorch whose first-time header found its way into the back of the net despite Masuluke getting a hand to it.

Moments later, it almost went from bad to worse for the hosts as Masandawana were awarded a penalty after Qobolwakhe Sibande was adjudged to have fouled Morena, but Peter Shalulile blazed the resultant spot kick over the crossbar.

Shalulile was almost made to rue that miss as Stellies burst forward up the other end and pulled one back through Genino Palace, who struck to score his first-ever goal in a Stellenbosch jersey, but the equalising ultimately goal never followed.

The referee’s whistle sounded for full-time to consign Steve Barker’s side to a 2-1 defeat and their exit from the Nedbank Cup, with the result also signalling the end of Stellenbosch’s remarkable 25-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

Stellenbosch FC starting XI: Masuluke, Van Rooyen (Sibande 75′), Moloisane, Toure, Basadien (Jurgens 89′), Nduli (Mgaga 89′), Adams (Palace 28′), De Jong (Van Wyk 61′), Titus, Oura & Rayners