Cape Town — Stellenbosch FC and Maritzburg United played out a 1-1 draw in their DStv Premiership clash at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday evening.
The result sees the Maroons placed fifth on the log, four points off the top three and with their hopes of qualifying for African club competition looking having taken a knock, while the Team of Choice are 12th, and four points clear of the relegation playoff berth.
Stellenbosch got off to a strong start and created two early chances for striker Ashley Du Preez inside the opening 15 minutes, the first of which was turned away by Maritzburg goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt, while the second was turned away.
Just past the midway point of the first half, the hosts had another opportunity when Marc Van Heerden picked out Mogamad De Goede from a free-kick, but the Stellies skipper put his header wide.
Maritzburg found their rhythm after the 30-minute mark, with Friday Samu soon shooting wide, while Stellenbosch needed Sage Stephens to make a couple of important catches from successive corner kicks in the 37th minute.
The visitors also suffered an injury blow late in the first half when Clayton Daniels had to be replaced by fellow defender Alfred Ndengane.
The score was 0-0 at halftime, while the early minutes of the second stanza saw Stellenbosch create further opportunities for Jayden Adams and Junior Mendieta – though neither was able to capitalize.
Maritzburg then claimed the lead somewhat against the run of play, with Ndengane scoring from the spot in the 62nd minute to hand control to the Team of Choice.
However, Maritzburg’s lead lasted just six minutes, with Stellies levelling the game midway through the second half thanks to a strike from substitute Judas Moseamedi – the forward finished off a fine team goal from the hosts.
Stellenbosch looked the team more likely to go on and add a second goal in the final quarter of the match – with substitute Stanley Dimgba giving them extra energy following his introduction – but Maritzburg were able to hold out, and secure a valuable away point.
Stellenbosch will return to DStv Premiership action next Saturday, 14 May, with a match away to Mamelodi Sundowns, while Maritzburg’s scheduled match against Orlando Pirates has been postponed due to the latter’s participation in the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final.