Cape Town City players celebrate after Chris David scores the only goal during their Absa Premiership game against top-flight newcomers Stellenbosch FC at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN –  Cape Town City emerged victorious in the Cape derby when they defeated Stellenbosch FC 1-0 in a Premiership clash played at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday.

While City will be happy to have gained the Cape bragging rights, Stellenbosch can hold their heads high. They gave as good as they got and, in the end, will probably feel they deserved a share of the spoils, especially because they dominated the closing stages of the match.

City took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with a superb opening goal. After a smooth build-up, involving one-touch passes between Kermit Erasmus and Surprise Ralani, the ball was threaded through to Chris David. The 26-year-old Dutch midfielder made no mistake with a sweet finish, drilling the ball beyond his Dutch countryman in goal for Stellenbosch, Boy de Jong.

David signed for City last year and, after an adaptation period, he is now really looking good. He has previously played for Fulham in England, and FC Twente, Go Ahead Eagles and FC Utrecht in the Netherlands. David is certainly going to be an influential player for City coach Benni McCarthy this season.

City had another great opportunity in the 20th minute when City captain and right-back Thami Mkhize found Erasmus with an excellent pass, but the striker’s shot on goal was brilliantly saved by De Jong.

Stellenbosch tried their best and had City under pressure at times, but overall they struggled to match City’s passing game. For the Cape Winelands side, the best opportunities came from dead-ball situations, with Iqraam Rayners blasting a free-kick over the bar.

Five minutes before half-time, City could have increased their lead, but again De Jong saved from Erasmus.

Just before the referee brought the first half to a close, Stellenbosch were forced into a substitution, with an injured Junior Awono replaced by Mpho Matsi.

Stellenbosch pressed early in the second half and Kris Bergman screamed in a shot, but it was straight at City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh.

Once City had weathered the brief onslaught from the opposition, they gained control again and created a host of opportunities. After a mazy run, Gift Links rounded De Jong, but his goal-bound effort was intercepted by Matsi.

Ralani had a shot saved by De Jong, and Links, with yet another chance, fired wide.

The game then ebbed and flowed, and Stellenbosch finished the stronger. The PSL rookie club should, in fact, have equalised in the 74th minute, but Zukile Kewuti was at hand for City to clear the ball off the goal-line.

Stellenbosch substitute Waseem Isaacs then had a glorious chance to level three minutes before the end, but his attempt, unfortunately, hit the upright.

African News Agency (ANA)