Stellenbosch edge AmaZulu in Durban

Anicet Oura © Backpage Pix

Stellenboch climbed into the top half of the DStv Premiership table courtesy of a narrow 1-0 victory over AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Anicet Oura scored his first goal for the Maroons in the 31st minute to secure all three points, although they needed Stage Stephens to save Sede Dion's penalty early in the second half to preserve their slender lead.

Steve Barker's side moved up to seventh position, pushing Usuthu (9th) out of the top eight in the process as their three-game unbeaten run came to an end.

Amaqhawe were looking to build on their 3-1 comeback win against Golden Arrows prior to the international break, while Stellies hoped to make it four matches unbeaten after playing out to a 0-0 draw with Chippa United last time out.

The hosts saw plenty of the ball in the opening 45 minutes and had the first sniff at goal when Dion steered a header wide of the left post on 12 minutes after getting on the end of Wayde Jooste's cross.

However, Stellenbosch hit the front with their first real chance of the game just past the half-hour mark as Oura slotted home from inside the box after Veli Mothwa had denied Devin Titus moments earlier.

Pablo Franco's side looked to respond and Celimpilo Ngema tested Stephens at his near post with an effort from inside the area on the right in the 35th minute before Jooste sent his shot narrowly wide of the left post from the resulting corner.

The KZN outfit finished the half strongly, with Rowan Human and Ethan Brooks both lining up strikes from range that flew inches past the left post in stoppage time.

They were presented with a golden opportunity to restore parity moments after the restart when Thabo Moloisane brought down Ramahlwe Mphahlele inside the box, but Dion's penalty was expertly saved by Stephens.

After Mothwa denied Iqraam Rayners on 51 minutes, AmaZulu continued to push for the equaliser as Abbubaker Mobara narrowly missed the target with an attempt from long range in the 64th minute, while Mphahlele directed his header just to the left of the goal from a corner on 68 minutes.

Riaan Hanamub also went close with a header that drifted just beyond the left post from Mphahlele's cross in the 72nd minute, much to the relief of Stephens in the visiting goal.

Augustine Kwem attempted to repeat his heroics against Arrows 13 days earlier as he made contact with Hanamub's cross in the 85th minute, but was unable to beat Stephens.

The Cape Winelands club held on in the closing stages though, to claim only their second-ever victory over Usuthu in the top flight.

AmaZulu (0) 0

Stellenbosch (1) 1 (Oura 31')

AmaZulu: V. Mothwa, R. Mphahlele, M. Gumede, A. Mobara, R. Hanamub, W. Jooste, E. Brooks, B. Motshwari (M. Mbanjwa 55'), C. Ngema, S. Dion (A. Kwem 66'), R. Human (T. Moremi 46').

Stellenbosch: S. Stephens, D. van Rooyen, T. Moloisane, I. Toure, F. Basadien, G. Palace (D. Matsheke 70'), S. Nduli, J. Adams, D. Titus (K. Sekgota 90+1'), I. Rayners (M. Boji 72'), A. Oura (N. Mgaga 66').