Kaizer Chiefs come back twice to share the points with Stellenbosch FC
CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch FC’s inexperience at the highest level continued to haunt them on Tuesday evening in their DSTV Premiership clash against Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium.
Not for the first time this season Stellenbosch held the advantage against a much-more fancied outfit – only to surrender the lead in the dying stages yet again. The visitors were ahead on two occasions in the final 20 minutes, but allowed Chiefs to comeback twice to steal a share of the points in the 2-2 draw.
“It is an area that we have identified and we are not managing the last 10 minutes better. If we can improve that area it will be crucial because we have shown we can score goals. It is small margins that’s the difference between taking all three points and sharing the points,” Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker said.
“We have improved over the last five games and we are getting where we want to. It is taking a bit longer than we wanted to, but we’re getting there.”
Barker had stated in the pre-match build-up that his team expected an aerial assault in Soweto, and had prepared accordingly. They certainly won the defensive battle in the first half by neutralising the immense threat Samir Nurkovic posed with Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt forced to substitute the big Serbian in the second stanza.
And when it was their turn to get into goal scoring positions, they rose spectacularly with both goals coming from crosses into the Kaizer Chiefs box. Zambian striker Nathan Sinkala opened up the game in the 72nd minute when he headed home powerfully from a corner before Phathutshedzo Nange came back to haunt his former coach Hunt with another stunning header to put Stellenboch back into the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Sandwiched between the Stellies’ goals, Chiefs also produced a fine header from Nhlakanipho Ngcobo that initially levelled proceedings before Leonardo Castro drilled home the equaliser from the edge of the box with his first touch of the game to break Stellies’ hearts.
The visitors, though, would admit they were fortunate not to concede a penalty earlier in the second half when Sinkala brought down Willard Katsande in the box. Sinkala lunged at Katsande and clipped the ankle of the Zimbabwean, but much to the dismay of the Chiefs bench the referee waved play on.
“It has been our Achilles heel throughout the season. We were a bit flat, but got back in the game. We need to be better than that. Bad defending has cost us all season,” Hunt said.
“We don’t want the game to go from end-to-end. That suits Stellenbosch. They have the players to take on the space
“I thought we had enough chances. So it is very disappointing. We dropped the points. We need to be 100 times better.”
The stalemate has not helped either team’s push for the Top Eight finish with only one point separating Chiefs (9th ) and Stellies (10th ) position on the log. Chiefs have, though, played one match less than their winelands counterparts.