Key win for Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch have claimed another key win in their Absa Premiership survival battle, defeating fellow strugglers Baroka 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

The result, secured by a goal early in the second half from Waseem Isaacs, sees Stellies remain in 11th place but open up a five-point buffer to the relegation zone, while Bakgaga drop to 13th and are just one point above the drop.

The teams took their time settling into a rhythm, with Baroka generally enjoying a little more of the possession early on. They also had the first shot in anger, with Prince Nxumalo seeing his effort saved by Stellenbosch goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt.

That proved to be the only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. Stellenbosch, through the likes of Iqraam Rayners, Waseem Isaacs and Ryan Moon, had numerous attempts but failed to test Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, leaving the score 0-0 at the halftime break.

The Cape side’s shooting radar may have been off kilter in the first half, but it took just five minutes of the second for them to finally ripple the back of the net. Rayners provided the assist for Isaacs, who struck the ball beyond Chipezeze to put Stellies 1-0 up.

Baroka responded well to going behind, putting together some good passages of play through the likes of Tshediso Patjie, Ranga Chivaviro, Nxumalo and Gerald Phiri Jr, but Stellenbosch did enough to weather the storm without damage.

The Cape side held firm at the back – and had a couple of threatening moments from which they could have doubled their advantage on the counter – to deny Baroka a comeback and claim an important victory in their battle to avoid relegation.

The teams will return to Premiership action next weekend, with Stellenbosch at home to Polokwane City on January 25 and Baroka hosting Maritzburg United the following day.

Stellenbosch (0) 1 (Isaacs 50’)

Baroka 0

Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Mobbie, Van Heerden, Mthethwa, Johannes, Scott, Matsi, Moon, Kauru (Bergman 69’), Rayners, Isaacs (van Rooyen 87’)

Baroka: Chipezeze, Kgoetyane, Farmer, Gebhardt, Ngubane, Chivaviro, Patjie (Selemela 82’), Phiri Jr, Mosele, Nxumalo (Nsimba 69’), Makgaka (Maloka 86’)