Stellies keep Pirates on the chase as SuperSport’s woes continue

By Michael Madyira

In-form Stellenbosch extended the Premier Soccer League gap between them and Orlando Pirates after a 1-1 draw with Sekhukhune United at Peter Mobaka Stadium on Wednesday.

Ivorian forward Anicet Oura powerfully connected an Iqraam Rayners cross four minutes before half-time to help the Cape Winelands side go three points clear of third-pace Buccaneers.

They looked set for victory but Nigerian striker Chibuike Ohizu hit back for the hosts with four minutes remaining on the clock.

After collecting a point on the road, Stellies now have 13 points less than log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who have two games in hand.

But impressively enough, Steve Barker’s men have gone 22 successive competitive games without tasting defeat.

Seven games now remain for Stellenbosch to seal their dream of finishing second on the PSL table for the first time ever and secure maiden participation in the CAF Champions League.

Wednesday’s result also saw Sekhukhune extending their unbeaten run in the league to nine matches, but they remain fourth on the standings a point behind Pirates.

At Lucas Moripe Stadium on the same evening, 10-man SuperSport United went an eighth successive PSL match without winning after being held 1-1 by Polokwane City.

Bafana Bafana midfielder Oswin Appollis thrust Rise and Shine ahead in the 56th minute but substitute Etiosa Ighodaro saved the evening for Matsatsantsa with an equaliser 12 minutes later.

SuperSport had goalkeeper Ricardo Goss sent for an early shower on 29 minutes after a professional foul on a charging Mokibelo Ramabu in the D.

Coach Gavin Hunt was then left with a difficult decision to sacrifice his leading marksman Bradley Grobler to pave the way for Washington Arubi.

With SuperSport struggling to cope with a man less, Grant Margeman failed to clear the ball in a Polokwane City attack to have the ball ricochet off Given Mashikinya to Appolis, who beat Arubi.

In trying to find a solution and claw their way back into the match, Hunt was spot-on and watched his substitutes Aphiwe Baliti and Ighodaro combining — with the latter rising highest to head in and draw level.

Margeman almost made up for his earlier mistake but saw his shot sail narrowly off target with 15 minutes to go.

Pictured above: Stellenbosch forward Anicet Oura beating Sekhuklhune United defender Nyiko Mobbie

Image source: Stellenbosch 

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