Stellenbosch have claimed a key away win in their fight to consolidate a place in the Absa Premiership, defeating hosts Baroka FC 1-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Waseem Isaacs struck the only goal of the game in the second half, sending the Cape side up to 11th place on the log and two points clear of the relegation zone. Bakgaga, meanwhile, are 13th and just one spot above the drop cut-off.
The teams were evenly matched in the opening quarter of the game, though Baroka were the more enterprising outfit and created a couple of chances for the likes of Prince Nxumalo and skipper Mduduzi Mdantsane.
Stellenbosch were happy to sit a little deeper and look to hit their hosts on the break, with Iqraam Rayners, Waseem Issacs and Ryan Moon providing good pace and movement in attack, though they generally lacked high quality service from their teammates.
Nonetheless, the first 45 minutes came to an end with the score line blank and neither goalkeeper – Elvis Chipezeze and Boy de Jong for Stellenbosch – having been particularly challenged throughout.
Bakgaga opted for a change in attack at the start of the second half, withdrawing Nxumalo in favour of Collins Makgaka, and the new striker injected some fresh energy and endeavour into the home side’s forward play.
However, it was Stellies who broke the deadlock. On the hour mark their deadly duo of Rayners and Isaacs combined, with the former setting up the latter to put an effort beyond the reach of Chipezeze and claim the ascendancy.
Baroka pushed hard for an equaliser in what remained of the game – and called de Jong into a couple of notable saves – but Stellenbosch were able to hold out and claim three very valuable points on the road.
The teams will return to Absa Premiership action on the first weekend of 2020, with Stellenbosch at home to Bidvest Wits on January 4 and Baroka away to Cape Town City the following day.
Baroka FC 0
Stellenbosch (0) 1 (Isaacs 60’)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mogashoa (Dickens 82’), Farmer, Gebhardt, Ngubane, Mbulu, Madondo, Mdantsane (Mongai 67’), Patjie, Phiri Jr, Nxumalo (Makgaka 46’)
Stellenbosch: De Jong, Mobbie, Ndlovu, Johannes, Mthethwa, Bergman, Motsogi (Franco 55’), Matsi, Rayners (Mathabela 87’), Isaacs (Du Preez 63’), Moon