Result: Stellenbosch FC 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 26 October 2019
Venue: Cape Town Stadium
Orlando Pirates' struggles in the Absa Premiership continued after suffering a shock 1-0 loss to new boys Stellenbosch FC at the Cape Town Stadium.
Pirates interim coach Rhulani Mokwena kept virtually the same side that edged Stellies in the Telkom Knockout apart from the suspended Happy Jele, who was replaced by Alfred Ndengane, while coach Steve Barker re-called goalkeeper Boy de Jong, Robyn Johannes, Marc van Heerden and Wiseem Isaacs for the hosts.
Mokwena's charges started with a lot of energy and rhythm going forward and they almost went ahead in the 15th minute after Tshegofatso Mabasa went through on goal but his low shot missed the corner by inches.
However, Stellenbosch were gifted the opening goal on 21 minutes when Ndengane gifted the ball to Iqraam Rayners, who did well to create space before firing a low effort past Wayne Sandilands from the edge of the box.
Pirates created a host of chances in the latter phase of the first stanza but Stellies were resilient in defence, while the visitors were also let down by the decision-making in the final third.
Mokwena's troops were still creating a lot of chances after Gabadinho Mhango and Kabelo Dlamini replaced Fortune Makaringe and Augustine Mulenga at the beginning of the second stanza, but the Stellies shot-stopper was fine form between the sticks
The Buccaneers almost went two goals behind with 20 minutes remaining after van Heerden spotted Sandilands off of his line and struck a shot from inside his own half, but the Pirates shot-stopper just about kept out the effort after back-tracking.
Late substitute Justin Shonga came close to equalising for the visitors with 12 minutes remaining following a cross by Thabiso Monyane at the near post but his well cushioned header rattled the outside of the post.
Mabasa had another glorious chances for Pirates in the closing minutes but his acrobatic effort crashed off the upright as Stellies held on for only their second win of the Absa Premiership to move above Pirates in the standings.
Here's how they lined up:
Stellenbosch: 31. De Jong, 42. Mobbie, 13. Van Heerden, 5. Mthethwa, 4. De Goede, 16. Johannes, 50. Zungu, 26. Motsogi, 15. Bergman, 21. Isaacs, 10. Rayners.
Subs: 35. Langeveldt, 47. Gould, 6. Moroole, 29. Moon, 18. Skelem, 8. Matsi, 11. Franco.
Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 5. Nyauza, 27. Ndengane, 34. Monyane, 29. Mako, 32. Mntambo, 15. Makarinnge, 3. Lorch, 45. Pule, 17. Mulenga, 16. Mabasa.
Subs: 1. Delle, 23. Maela, Mabaso, Motshwari, 7. Mhango, 18. Dlamini, 12. Shonga.