Stellenbosch FC want to make the most of positive start to the year
CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch FC's hopes of turning the Danie Craven Stadium into a "fortress" is well underway in 2021.
The home side recorded a comprehensive 2-0 win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Tuesday afternoon, courtesy of goals from Marc van Heerden and Phathutshedzo Nange.
The victory margin could have been even bigger though with Stellies creating numerous chances in an entertaining display in the first game of the New Year.
"I think overall a good performance coming back in the New Year. It is not always easy after such a short break. TTM are a dangerous team to play against. They started well, put us under a little bit of pressure but we came back and got back to how we want to play," said assistant coach Wesley Sergal.
Stellies certainly have a golden opportunity to claim a second consecutive home victory when they face Black Leopards at their picturesque home ground tomorrow.
Leopards have struggled since returning to the DSTV Premiership this season, claiming just five points from their eight matches played thus far and are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Furthermore, their 2021 opener on Tuesday against Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, meaning Leopards will be even rustier.
Sergal hopes Stellenbosch can capitalize on this by being even more ruthless in front of goal as they are currently playing an enterprising brand of football.
"We created some good chances and overall I think we deserved the win. We have another game on Friday and it's another opportunity for us to start the New Year in a good way," he said.
"I think it's a good sign that we creating opportunities. We've scored quite a few goals per game already so I think we are creating chances. It's an area that we are always looking to improve. We just have to keep converting at a higher percentage.
"Obviously the more goals we can score it will make things easier for us, especially if we get that second goal earlier. Happy to be creating, happy to be scoring, because that always leads to a positive result."
Stellies will also take plenty of confidence from goalkeeper Lee-Raoul Langeveldt's performance against TTM. The veteran shot-stopper had a shaky outing last time out in the Western Cape derby against local rivals Cape Town City, but put that all behind him on Tuesday.
Langeveldt seemed to relish the extra responsibility of being installed as captain in the absence of regular skipper and central defender Robyn Johannes.
The 34-year-old made a brilliant save to tip over a rasping long range shot from TTM defender Nicholas Lukhubeni early on before further heroics later in the game when he saved Thabo Rakhale's spot-kick after a Martin de Goede handball in the area.