Written by on May 10, 2024

Written by: Kamogelo Mogale

Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates have drawn the battle lines as the two sides continue the fight to finish second behind reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns who won the league last week Thursday after defeating Kaizer Chiefs 5-1 with only six games to spare. Stellies have already captured the Carling Knockout Cup while The Buccaneers successfully defended their MTN8 title and either side will look to wrap up the season by finishing second in order to join The Brazilians in next season’s CAF Champions League campaign.

The Cape played out to a goalless draw midweek against Amazulu while The Soweto giants defeated Chippa United 2-0 courtesy of a Tshegofatso Mabasa brace who’s also battling Stellenbosch’s striker Iqraam Rayners for the league’s top goal scorer accolade with Mabasa sitting on 15 goals while Rayners is on 14 goals. Stellies is currently second on the DStv Premiership table with 50 points after 27 matches while Pirates is on third position with 49 points just a point adrift on Stellies after 27 matches played.

Speaking before the media after being eliminated from the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, Stellies coach Steve Barker said that they can’t get excited as yet as there is still some work to be done. “I’m very proud of my team and how the lads have been playing throughout the season. Sundowns have set a benchmark and we also want to play on the continent ourselves so we have some work to do in the league. I can definitely say that we are on the right track if we can take Sundowns on like we did today and pushed them all the way. I do believe that it was a good sign for us but ya not meant to be today, we gave a brilliant effort but not enough in the end”, said Barker.

Meanwhile, Pirates coach Jose Riveiro spoke before the media after the victory against Chippa United, citing that the reality is still there. “Stellies is still ahead of us 1 point, that’s the reality. They are still depending on their own performances and results, we have to continue putting pressure and pushing as much as we can in order to do our homework. It’s going to be difficult for all of us until the end, tight games for sure but at the same time it’s a nice fight”, said Riveiro.

Stellenbosch will travel away to Soweto this weekend to face Moroka Swallows at the Dobsonville stadium while Pirates will welcome relegation candidates Richards Bay FC at the Orlando Stadium with both sides aiming for nothing less but a victory to continue their quest for league runners up for the continental interclub competition next season.

In the last two games, Stellies will welcome champions Mamelodi Sundowns and then travel to Richards Bay FC in the final game while The Buccaneers will travel to TS Galaxy and then wrap up the league with a home fixture against Supersport United. This promises to be a great and a tight fight for Stellenbosch and Pirates for the second spot.

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