Absa Premiership

Arubi earns Stellenbosch a play-off point

2017-06-03 17:42

Cape Town - Stellenbosch FC kept their promotion hopes alive with a goalless draw against Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday, leaving them unbeaten in the Premiership play-offs.

The hosts made an enterprising start to their play-off challenge, but they found visiting keeper Arubi in inspiring form.

Sammy Troughton's men had the first chance early on when Junaid Sait missed the target with a free header from close range, although Lidoda Duvha were soon threatening as Musonda lashed a shot over the crossbar after powering his way towards goal.

Leopards saw plenty of the ball but Stellenbosch were holding firm at the back and they wasted a good opportunity on the break midway through the first half when Mame Niang fired a weak effort wide.

Arubi was called into action for the first time on 31 minutes as he raced off his line to block Musonda's shot after he was played through on the right by Siphelele Ntshangase, with Musonda blasting the rebound well over.

The Zimbabwean gloveman was alert to the danger again four minutes before half-time as he gathered Lebogang Mabotja's delivery into the six-yard box.

Black Leopards fashioned an early opening in the second half, with Ntshangase again instigating the move as he played in Musonda on the left, but the Zambian's tame strike was easily saved by Arubi at his right post on 49 minutes.

Musonda failed to hit the target once more in the 56th minute as he steered a header over from a cross on the right, and Ivan Mahangwahaya could only managed to hit the underside of the bar with a shot on the turn three minutes later after latching onto a scooped pass from Ntshangase.

Phathutshedzo Nange then blazed an effort way over bar from long range on the left before Mabotja curled a free-kick just over from a narrow angle on the right soon afterwards.

Ntshangase went closer with his set-piece on 81 minutes, curling the ball inches wide of the right post from 20 yards out, with Arubi beaten.

The visitors had to see out the final stages with only 10 men when Diego Brown saw sent off for a second yellow card three minutes from time, and Nange almost made them pay at the death with a venomous shot from outside the box that was well held by Arubi.


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