There were goals galore at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday evening as Stellenbosch thumped Golden Arrows 5-2 to record three wins on the spin in the DStv Premiership.
A brace apiece from Junior Mendieta and Iqraam Rayners, along with Olwethu Makhanya’s first goal of the season, did the damage for Steve Barker’s side, while Bongumusa Nkosi and Ryan Moon found the back of the net for Arrows early on.
Stellies moved up to sixth in the standings, two behind Cape Town City, who beat Royal 2-1 AM in the early kick-off. Abafana Bes’thende saw a four-match unbeaten run come to an end as they dropped down to ninth place.
The two clubs came into the clash level on 33 points, with only goal difference separating Stellenbosch and Arrows in seventh and eighth place respectively.
Vusumuzi Vilakazi’s team had gone unbeaten in their previous four games but they got off to the worst possible start when a defensive mistake in the opening minute led to Ntsikelelo Nxadi bringing down Mendieta inside the area.
Mendieta stepped up to take the penalty himself and despite Mlungwana making the initial save, the Argentine scored on the rebound to break the deadlock in the third minute.
Rayners threatened to double the Maroons’ lead five minutes later with a shot from the right side of the box that was saved by Sifiso Mlungwana, although parity was restored just moments later as Nkosi slotted home from close range after the visitors launched a quick counter.
The game was turned on its head in the 20th minute when Moon raced clear on the breakaway and advanced into the area before firing past Sage Stephens to put the visitors ahead.
Their lead lasted just eight minutes, however, as Rayners beat Stephens from close range after being picked out inside the six-yard box by Nhlanhla Mgaga.
Rayners was hungry for more goals and he produced two saves out of Mlungwana in the space of three minutes before Mendieta struck again on 37 minutes with a close-range finish to put Stellies back in front.
Three became four in first-half stoppage time when Makhanya pounced on a loose ball to score from close range after a corner had caused a scramble inside the area.
Moon was just inches away from bagging his second of the match on 57 minutes with a shot from inside the box on the left that flew wide of the near post, while back up the other end Rayners tested Mlungwana from range in the 61st minute.
The in-form striker wasn’t to be denied though, as he got his name on the scoresheet again five minutes later after being played through on goal by Mgaga, who registered his second assist of the game.
Rayners would miss out on his hat-trick after failing to beat Mlungwana with a shot from inside the area in the 73rd minute before being substituted in the closing stages.
Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Ibraheem Jabaar and Fawaaz Basadien all had chances to add gloss to the scoreline in the final 10 minutes but they were unable to hit the target with their respective efforts, while Sicelokuhle Hlatshwayo nearly pulled another one back for Arrows in stoppage time, only to see his header sail narrowly over the crossbar from a free-kick.
Stellenbosch (4) 5 (Mendieta 3′, 37, Rayners 29′, 66′, Makhanya 45+2′)
Golden Arrows (2) 2 (Nkosi 9′, Moon 20′)
STELLENBOSCH: S. Stephens, D. van Rooyen (K. Jurgens 85′), O. Makhanya, V. Sibiya, F. Basadien, D. Titus (J. Ortiz 78′), I. Jabaar, S. Mthethwa, J. Mendieta, I. Rayners (S. Mngomezulu 85′), N. Mgaga (S. Nduli 78′).
GOLDEN ARROWS: S. Mlungwana, S. Ndlovu, N. Nxadi, T. Mantshiyane (S. Hlatshwayo 40′), S. Cele (N. Sibiya 71′), B. Nkosi, N. Dlamini (S. Magawana 71′), V. Ndwandwe, P. Mmodi, D. Lunga, R. Moon
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