Stellenbosch FC, Sekhukhune United square off in second-place duel

Coach Steve Barker will hope his Stellenbosch FC team can continue where they left off against Kaizer Chiefs when they face Sekhukhune United tomorrow. Photo: BackpagePix

Coach Steve Barker will hope his Stellenbosch FC team can continue where they left off against Kaizer Chiefs when they face Sekhukhune United tomorrow. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Apr 5, 2024


The famous Danie Craven Stadium in the Cape Winelands, with its idyllic setting, will host the top-of-the-table clash between the two form DStv Premiership teams, Stellenbosch FC and Sekhukhune United, tomorrow evening (5pm kick-off).

Stellenbosch will be looking to build on an impressive 1-0 midweek away win over Kaizer Chiefs, with Devin Titus scoring just before half-time.

With that result, the Cape outfit stretched their unbeaten run in the Premiership stretch to 13 matches, and took a firm hold on second place on the log with 38 points after 21 games.

Sekhukhune have also enjoyed an incredible Premiership run, with only one loss in 10 matches.

During their midweek match, they were held to a 2-2 draw at home in Polokwane by Cape Town City, a result that ended a sequence of five straight wins.

Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker says his team’s purple patch has been “surreal”, and with nine matches left, he is hoping for more good performances.

“There’s still a lot of (Premiership) football to be played. There are 27 points to play for, but if you’d told me at the beginning of the season that we’d be at the position that we are in now, I’d have probably not agreed with you or believed it,” said Barker.

“Sometimes it’s a bit surreal for myself as well, with the run that we are on.

“It’s about focus, because we’ve got another big game against Sekhukhune, so there’s no rest.

“We must put in another good performance against Sekhukhune. Here is another team who’s in good form.

“We’ve got a lot of good quality attacking players, we seem to be scoring regularly.

“So, if we can shut the back door, keep the clean sheets, then it gives us the belief and the confidence that we can win matches.”

— Stellenbosch FC (@StellenboschFC) April 4, 2024

The spotlight will also be on ailing heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs, who will be away to Chippa United at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

But it remains to be seen if the Amakhosi will be granted a postponement, after the tragic death of defender Luke Fleurs in a hijacking incident in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Premier Soccer League announced yesterday that “in tribute to Luke’s memory, a moment of silence will be observed at all DStv Premiership, Motsepe Foundation Championship and DStv Diski Challenge fixtures this weekend”.

Chiefs are looking to arrest a terrible run of form in which they have managed just one win from eight matches across all competitions.

Consequently, the Glamour Boys have slipped into a disappointing eighth place, and while they have kissed their continental football hopes for next season goodbye, they could also lose out on a top-eight berth.

“Always, I believe that the players are still with me. We are still together, and they haven’t given up hope. I can tell you straight that the team and I are still together,” said under-pressure Chiefs coach Cavin Johnson.

Chippa, following their fine 2-0 midweek win over embattled Cape Town Spurs, have been dealt a bitter blow because Stanley Nwabali has been ruled out of the match against Chiefs due to a suspension.

Nigerian goalkeeper Nwabali was acclaimed far and wide after his brilliant performances for the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

Weekend Premiership Fixtures

Tomorrow – 3pm: Richards Bay v Moroka Swallows, Chippa United v Kaizer Chiefs. 5pm: Stellenbosch FC v Sekhukhune United. 5.30pm: Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows. 8pm: SuperSport United v TS Galaxy

Sunday – 3pm: Royal AM v Polokwane City, Cape Town City v AmaZulu