Steve Barker right, coach of Stellenbosch FC during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Launch. Photo; Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – It was a fantastic week for Cape Town City. Not only did they dispatch of Wits in a Nedbank Cup last 32 fixture last Wednesday, afterwards they traveled by bus to Swaziland for their debut in the Caf Confederation Cup and came away with a 1-0 win over Young Buffaloes in a preliminary round, first leg tie on Saturday.

The second leg is scheduled for 20 February at Athlone Stadium - and, with an away goal in the bag, City are in pole position to advance to the next phase of the competition. City have an important league fixture to negotiate this weekend when they face Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday night (8.15pm kickoff). As it stands, the two clubs are locked on 31 points each, seven behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, which makes victory paramount to stay in the title race.

Meanwhile, Stellenbosch FC will be looking to throw their name into the hat for the Nedbank last 16 draw when they host Highlands Park at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night (7.30pm kickoff).

The Mother City already has three teams through to the last 16 stage - City, Ubuntu Cape Town and Steenberg United - while Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town All Stars have crashed out.

City defeated Wits 1-0, Ubuntu Cape Town upset PSL side Polokwane City 3-2, while Steenberg eased past Orbit College 3-1 at Parow Park on Saturday. All Stars showed great heart and character, and were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to Sundowns; Ajax were beaten 2-0 by Orlando Pirates on Saturday night. So Stellenbosch won’t lack for motivation when their turn arrives on Wednesday. They will know quite a bit about their fellow-NFD opponents, who currently top the league standings in the division.

After defeating Pirates 3-0 in a league fixture recently, Ajax knew it would be much tougher in the Soweto club’s backyard at the weekend. Afterwards, the Cape side’s coach, Muhsin Ertugral, reflected on missed opportunities in the opening half hour as the cause for the defeat.

“The first 30 minutes we dominated them completely,” said Ertugral. “They didn’t know where to go, we blocked them well, and we had goal chances. If one goal goes in, it’s a completely different game. But well done to Orlando Pirates, their second half was marvellous, brilliant. In the end, I can be very happy about what I saw in the first half, but we need to be more clinical.”


Cape Argus

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