Stellies win Cape derby

Stellenbosch FC have claimed the bragging rights for their derby against Cape Town City, defeating their local rivals 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Tuks Stadium on Thursday evening.

Leletu Skelem’s first career league goal saw Stellies to victory and took them to 10th spot on 33 points – level with seventh-place Cape Town City. Highlands Park and Golden Arrows, also on 33 points apiece, separate the Cape sides according to goal difference.

Stellenbosch created the first clear opening on the quarter hour mark, with Granwald Scott stealing the ball in midfielder before playing Ashley du Preez through on goal – the striker got a shot away under pressure, but was denied by a fine save from goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh.

Stellies nearly claimed the lead five minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half, with Leeuwenburg punching a left-flank shot only as far as Nathan Sinkala, who then hit the post with his effort.

The same upright was in action again a couple of minutes later, with a shot from Scott deflected by Taariq Fielies onto the post, before Kermit Erasmus had a goal disallowed at the other end for a marginal offside call.

In injury time before the break, City needed Abbubaker Mobara to clear a goal-bound effort from almost off the line after Leletu Skelem had rounded the goalkeeper on the left of the penalty area. The interval saw the teams locked at 0-0.

Having been very much on the back foot, City made a double change at the start of the second stanza, sending on Tashreeq Morris and Mpho Makola, but it was Stellenbosch who again threatened in the early minutes, with Sinkala’s shot direct from a free kick well saved by Leeuwenburgh.

Stellies’ pressure finally paid dividends in the 50th minute, with Skelem picking up a poor clearance from a corner kick before firing a powerful low effort through a crowd of players and beyond the ‘keeper’s left hand to put the home side 1-0 up.

City should have drawn level on 64 minutes when Ebrahim Seedat provided a perfectly flighted cross from the left to pick out Morris, but the forward put his downward header wide of the far post with only goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt to beat.

The visitors had another near miss in the 82nd minute, with Fielies seeing an effort deflected onto the upright, while Eramus was unable to capitalise on the rebound from close range. That proved to be the last clear opportunity for City, with Stellenbosch able to shut up shop and claim three valuable points.

The teams will return to action on Sunday 23 August, with City at home to Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld, while Stellenbosch will visit Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium.

Stellenbosch (0) 1 (Skelem 50’)

Cape Town City 0

Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Mobbie, De Goede, Robertson, van Heerden, Sinkala (Msengi 67’), Johannes, Scott (Moroole 90’), Mbekile (Moon 66’), Skelem (Bergman 84’), du Preez

CTC: Leeuwenburgh, Mkhize (Appollis 86’), Fielies, Seedat, Nodada, Mdantsane (Makola 46’), Roberts, Ralani (Morris 46’), Lakay, Erasmus