By Michael Madyira
Stellenbosch FC left themselves on the cusp of the Carling Knockout glory after emerging 3-0 triumphant in a semi-final clash with Richards Bay at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
Following a drab and goalless first half, Stellenbosch turned on the style with three second-half goals, first opened by Devin Titus six minutes into the second half.
Anicet Oura made a follow-up with the second strike in the 69th minute before substitute Antonio van Wyk’s beautiful strike wrapped up the afternoon with four minutes to go.
It was a memorable day for Stellenbosch who reached the final of a major Cup competition for the first time.
It finally paid off for the Cape Winelands side whose best campaigns in knockout competitions were semi-final appearances in the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 this year alone.
But they crossed the last-four hurdle and now wait for Sunday’s winner between AmaZulu and TS Galaxy in the other Carling Knockout semi-final showdown.
Stellenbosch midfielder Jayden Adams was making his 100th appearance for his club, a huge feat for a 22-year-old and capped it off with victory.
Richards Bay’s only realistic chance of the match came seven minutes into the contest when Justice Fugureido missed on a one-on-one situation with Stellenbosch goalkeeper Sage Stephens.
It was an uneventful first half which ended with Titus breaking loose to face the hosts’ goalkeeper Philasande Manqele but failed to control the ball.
But six minutes after the restart, Manqele failed to collect an Iqraam Rayners flick and the ball fell into Titus’ path to cooly finish for his second goal of this tournament.
Oura then connected, with his knee, a corner kick from Fawaaz Basadien in what was his second goal in two straight games in the PSL and Carling Knockout.
Van Wyk then rose from the bench and put the contest beyond Richards Bay’s reach six minutes after coming on by cutting in from the left side to send in a curler that gave Manqele no chance at the far post.
Pictured above: Stellenbosch defender Thabo Moloisane challenged by Richard Bay’s Langelihle Mhlongo.
Image source: Richards Bay