Cape Town - The youthful Stellenbosch FC side held out for a 1-0 win over beleaguered Kaizer Chiefs in their DStv Premiership clash at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday evening.
The outcome means that Stellenbosch will move up to sixth place on the standings with 39 points. They join Chiefs (fourth place) and Orlando Pirates (fifth) who are also on 39 points but separated by goal difference. It is also the second time this season that a team have defeated Chiefs twice in Premiership fixtures. The only other team to achieve this feat is Royal AM.
Chiefs' interim co-coaches Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane who have taken over after the departure of Stuart Baxter, made five changes to the side that suffered a shock defeat at the hands of SuperSport last week.
Keegan Dolly returned from suspension and joined the famous 'CBD' triumvirate alongside Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro, who replaced Samir Nurković.
Njabulo Ngcobo replaced Phathutshedzo Nange in a central defensive role, and Happy Mashiane who was handed a rare run-on slot, came in for Reeve Frosler. Nkosingiphile Ngcobo made way for Sabelo Radebe.
The fair-sized crowd gave the teams a rousing welcome and made for a carnival atmosphere at the Winelands venue.
Chiefs held the upper hand from the outset and that was very much the case for the rest of the first half. After 20 minutes of play, they forced three corners and that reflected the pressure they created although they did not fashion any real scoring chances.
An errant throw-in by Chiefs midway through the first half deep inside opposition territory, saw Stellenbosch capitalise on the turn-over with transition play at great speed.
Stellenbosch threaded a string of passes down the middle of the field before striker Judas Mosemaedi spotted a yawning gap in Chiefs' retreating defence. His partner David van Rooyen rounded Chiefs' defence and pounced on the pass before unleashing a scoring strike. Brandon Petersen, Chiefs' goalkeeper should have done better after van Rooyen's shot hit the underside of his body as dived he in vain to parry the ball (1-0).
In the 24th minute, the speed of the Stellenbosch's front-runners again posed a problem for Chiefs' rear-guard but this time, they enjoyed a lucky let-off after Mosemaedi's parting shot rolled fractionally wide of the upright.
For the rest of the first half, Chiefs produced several decent build-up plays which were penetrative, but by the time the halftime whistle blew, they had a mere one shot of goal.
Stellenbosch's high press meant that whenever the side gained possession their front-runners posed a problem. However, they were unable to inflict further first-half damage.
Seven minutes into second-half play Stellenbosch again came within a whisker of a second goal, but this Petersen saved well from a Mosemaedi strike after Stellenbosch midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa had split the opposition defence with a great pass.
For the rest of the second half, Chiefs continued to enjoy possession advantage and towards the end, this figure rose to a dominant 58%. Despite this advantage, Stellenbosch looked the likelier to score whenever they managed to take play into Chiefs’ goalmouth.