Gallants out of danger zone after snatching point

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STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 11: Celimpilo Ngema of Marumo Gallants FC tackled by Deano van Rooyen of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership match between Stellenbosch FC and Marumo Gallants FC at Danie Craven Stadium on January 11, 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)
STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 11: Celimpilo Ngema of Marumo Gallants FC tackled by Deano van Rooyen of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership match between Stellenbosch FC and Marumo Gallants FC at Danie Craven Stadium on January 11, 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)

Stellenbosch were unable to end their winless run in the DStv Premiership after drawing 1-1 with Marumo Gallants FC on Wednesday evening.

Mervin Boji earned a re-call as the Maroons only change from the goalless draw at TS Galaxy, while Samuel Nkomo and Mahlatse Makudubela were recalled by Gallants head coach Dan Malesela.

Boji was very close to the breakthrough with a glancing header on ten minutes following Junior Mendieta’s cross from the right-side, but the attempt escaped target.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa were cut open again midway through the first half where Mendieta’s through ball released Boji in behind and on course for the opener, but Gallants goalkeeper Washington Arubi smothered.

Stellies needed to haul in a change five minutes before halftime after an injury had Vusi Sibiya stretchered off and Athenkosi Mcaba coming on to replace him.

The Maroons made the opening five minutes in the second half as Mendieta played a long pass out wide and ran in space to get on the end of the subsequent reverse pass and tucked in the top corner.

Gallants looked to draw level from their first chance around the closing quarter after debutant Nkomo’s snap shot deflected against the upright and back into play.

The Maroons gave a debut to young Qobolwakhe Sibande off the bench along with Nhlanhla Mgaga, and the former nearly made a dream start with a snap shot but it was blocked off.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa pushed for the equaliser within the closing minutes through a free-kick outside the area by Katlego Otladisa, but Stellies goalkeeper Sage Stephens made the save and denied Sibusiso Sibeko on the follow-up too.

Dan Malesela’s men were rewarded with a minute to go as substitute Ranga Chivaviro peeled off his marker in the area and headed in the far corner.

Stellies could’ve regained the lead and bagged the points from a tight angle and run in behind by Deano Van Rooyen, but Arubi made a telling stop to see the spoils shared.

Confirmed line-ups:

Stellenbosch: Stephens, Makhanya, Basadien, Van Rooyen, Mthethwa, Mendieta, Sibiya, Boji, Adams, Titus, Van, Wyk.

Subs: Langeveldt, Mcaba, Mgaga, Sobiech, Letsoenyo, Andries, Jabaar, Sibande, Mngomezulu

Marumo Gallants: Arubi , Nkomo, Mabotja, Mphambaniso, Khiba, Kumalo, Otladisa, Ngema, Sibeko, Mdlinzo, Makudubela.

Subs: Watenga, Molangoane, Chivaviro, Kgoetyane, Pheko, Maraisane, Monyepao, Bobete, Yidan.

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