Ortiz rescues Stellies against Sekhukhune

Stellenbosch FC showed character as they fought back to hold Sekhukhune United to a 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership encounter at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The draw saw Stellies move up to the fifth spot on the league standings, while Babina Noko remained eighth on the table as the battle to finish in the top eight continued in the local top flight.

Having netted his first goal for Babina Noko against Maritzburg United on March 16, Roderick Kabwe looked lively in the opening exchanges and he was involved when the visitors took an early lead.

The Zambia international relieved a lovely ball into Stellies' box and his compatriot Justin Shinga scored with a fabulous overhead kick to hand Sekhukhune a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the encounter.

Shonga, who was known for his ability to score from free-kicks during his days with Orlando Pirates, had a chance to score from a set-piece, but his effort went narrowly wide of the target.

Stellensboch finished the first half the stronger of the two teams, but goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini pulled off two fantastic saves to deny Junior Mendieta and Sekhukhune were leading 1-0 at the interval.

With his side having trailed at halftime coach Steve Barker introduced Antonio Van Wyk and Judas Moseamedi, who scored twice to help Stellenbosch hold Royal AM to a 2-2 draw on March 20.

The hosts pressed Babina Noko and they managed to level matters through Juan Carlos Ortiz as the Venezualan attacker beat keeper Dlamini to make it 1-1 a minute after the hour-mark.

Sekhukhune tried to restore their lead with coach MacDonald Makhubedu having made a triple substitution as he introduced Vusimuzi Mncube, Tshidiso Patjie and Evans Rusike.

However, neither side was able to score in the closing stages of the encounter and the two teams shared the spoils on the day following a 1-1 draw.

STELLENBOSCH (0) 1 (Ortiz 61')

SEKHUKHUNE (1) 1 (Shonga 12')