CAPE TOWN – Stellenbosch FC coach Sammy Troughton has admitted that it is a case of win or bust in Saturday's promotion play-off match against Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane (kick-off 3pm).
On Wednesday, Baroka defeated Black Leopards 2-1 to surge to the top of the play-off standings. With the three clubs having played two games each, and with two games remaining, Baroka have four points, followed by Stellenbosch on two and Leopards on one point. At stake, of course, is a place in the elite league next season.
There is no other option for Stellenbosch. They cannot bank on Leopards to do them any favours, which is why they have to take their destiny in their own hands – and, to do that, they have to win and take all three points against Baroka.
Troughton and his technical staff watched the Baroka-Leopards game closely midweek. They will continue to study the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, in a bid to find a way to seal the victory they so desperately need.
“I’ve said it right from the start of the play-offs, but it’s even more so now – this is a Cup final for us,” said Troughton. “We know what we’ve got to do and we just have to sort out our own business. We have to go there and get a positive result.”
In Stellenbosch’s two draws to date, they showed some great resolve and determination. There was a lot to like about their defensive organisation and overall commitment, but they just haven’t had enough in attack. But, for the Cape Winelands club to achieve their objective of victory, they’ll have to find a way to score.
“We will, of course, be cautious, but we will have to ask some difficult questions of Baroka in attack,” said the Stellenbosch coach.
“We will start from a solid base and, when we have opportunities to go forward, we have to make use of our chances. We will look to attack them aerially and also from set-pieces.”
As for Baroka, they’ll be up for this one. Another victory will place them in pole position to retain their spot in the PSL next season. Their win over Leopards in midweek came despite the ongoing upheaval with regard to their coaching staff. Before the Leopards game, Baroka announced that they had suspended co-coach Milton Dlamini for what was termed “unbecoming behaviour”. So, the other co-coach, Kgoloko Thobejane, took charge and steered the team to victory.
Thobejane will have his Baroka team motivated to the hilt.