Iqraam Rayners continued his fine form for Stellenbosch FC, who registered a 2-0 win over AmaZulu in the DStv Premiership on Friday night.
Result: Stellenbosch 2-0 AmaZulu
Date: 17 March 2023
Venue: Danie Craven Stadium
Veli Mothwa was back in the Usuthu goal after the Nedbank Cup upset, while Abubakar Mobara made way for Veluyeke Zulu in the defence. Gabadinho Mhango joined Sede Dion upfront.
The home side came into the clash in better form and they nearly got the opening goal inside ten minutes when Deano van Rooyen whipped an inviting cross into the box, but Zulu popped up with a vital block.
Usuthu went even closer in the 12 minute when Mhango saw his curling free-kick crash against the woodwork, while Mbongeni Gumede headed horribly wide from the rebound with only Sage Stephens to beat.
The visitors were made to rue that miss as the in-form Iqraam Rayners bagged his fifth goal in four starts for Stellenbosch with a neat finish after being played in by Junior Mendieta's neat flick.
Rayners looked to return the favour ten minutes before the halftime break when he played Mendieta through on goal, but the Argentine midfielder was denied by a fine save by Mothwa.
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It was more of the same in the second half an Mendieta squandered another big chance after rounding Mothwa before firing against the upright with the open goal at his mercy.
Usuthu coach Romain Folz responded with a double change just after the hour mark as Dumisani Zuma and Mxolisi Kunene made way for Mhango and Hendrick Esktein.
Chances continued to fall for the home side and they were not being taken as Devon Titus did well to pull the ball back for Rayners, who somehow sent his first-time strike wide ten yards.
After a surviving a scare from Dion's header, the home side went on to double their lead with 15 minutes to go as Titus latched onto a ball over the top to race in on goal and calmly slot under Mothwa.
Here's how they lined up:
Stellenbosch: 17. Stephens, 35. Makhanya, 22. Sibande, 7. Van Rooyen, 6. Mthethwa, 10. Mendieta, 5. Sibiya, 27. Jabaar, 18. De Jong, 34. Titus, 9. Rayners
Subs: 35. Langeveldt, 12. Mgaga, 3. Letsoenyo, 6. Nduli, 37. Mngomezulu, 26. Mcaba, 23. Adams, 42. Boji, 29. Van Wyk
AmaZulu: 44. Mothwa, 5. Sikhakhane, 14. Hanamub, 24. Zulu, 17. Gumede, 4. Malepe, 35. Manziba, 12. Maluleka, 27. Ekstein, 33. Dion, 11. Mhango
Subs: 30. February, 42. Mabiliso, 22. Khumalo, 25. Mavuso, 50. Bwalya, 18. Brooks, 36. Kunene, 47. Qalinge, 15. Zuma
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