Absa Premiership

Stellenbosch grind out priceless win over Polokwane

Ovidy Karuru (PA)
Ovidy Karuru (PA)

Cape Town - Stellenbosch FC ground out a 1-0 win over Polokwane City in their Absa Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday thanks to a winner from Ovidy Karuru.

The hosts were off to a quick start as they threatened the Polokwane defence in the opening five minutes. Marc van Heerden drove into the visitors' third of the pitch only to be dispossessed by Kenneth Nthatheni's last-ditch tackle.

Stellies maintained their early momentum and kept the pressure on Rise and Shine for extended periods, racking up a string of corner kicks in the process.

Yet the visitors from up north held on and produced their first shot at goal in the 18th minute, but Mohammed Anas' effort had too much height on it to trouble goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt.

Anas was once again involved for City shortly thereafter as he turned with the ball on the edge of the box before laying it off to Kabelo Mahlasela who played it into space for Edgar Manaka, but Langeveldt reacted quickly, coming off his line to smother the loose ball just in time.

At the other end of the pitch Van Heerden came close to beating George Chigova with a thunderous strike from distance, but the goalkeeper tipped the ball over his bar.

The breakthrough finally arrived on the stroke of half-time as Stellies edged ahead 1-0.

Iqraam Rayners whipped in a cross, which Chigova got a hand to, but the 'keeper couldn't steer it to safety and Karuru pounced to send the ball into the back of the net.

After the interval the game slowed down somewhat as neither side created any real scoring opportunities, but around the hour mark Waseem Isaacs came close to netting the hosts' second as he sent his shot over the bar from Nyiko Mobbie's superb cross.

Polokwane picked up the pace as the second half wore on and substitute Charlton Mashumba tested Langeveldt on two occasions with shots on goal, only to see the gloveman deny him twice.

Stellies were able to hold on to their slender lead until the final whistle to collect three points and move seven points clear of the relegation zone, where City remain rooted.

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