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Stellies thrash Richards Bay to reach Carling Cup final

Sazi Hadebe Sports reporter
Stellenbosch FC player Anicet Oura celebrates scoring during the Carling Knockout semi-final match against Richards Bay at King Zwelithini Stadium on December 02, 2023.
Stellenbosch FC player Anicet Oura celebrates scoring during the Carling Knockout semi-final match against Richards Bay at King Zwelithini Stadium on December 02, 2023.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

This match was not worthy of a semifinal given the unenterprising way in which it started, but Stellenbosch FC won’t mind as they now have an opportunity to win their first major trophy in South African football. 

In the end Stellies, comfortably beat Richards Bay FC 3-0 with second-half goals to qualify for the Carling Cup final where they’ll meet either AmaZulu FC or TS Galaxy at Moses Mabhida on December 16.

Devin Titus opened the scoring for Steve Barker’s charges against a Bay side which never played with the confidence of a home team and only started to conjure up some attack when they were already 2-0 down.

Titus benefited from the inexperience of young Bay keeper Philasande Manqele who failed to deal with a tame looping attempt by Stellies striker Iqraam Rayners. Manqele parried the ball onto Titus' feet for an easy tap in.

But in general, the better part of this match was a dull affair, with Kaitano Tembo, the Bay coach, sticking with his defensive tactics that brought his side into the semis.

Bay defeated Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates to get into the last four, but the KwaZulu-Natal's club luck ran out against Stellies. 

Titus, Jayden Adams, Anicet Oura and Rayners provided constant attacking options for Barker’s team and continued in that vein even after taking the lead.

That paid off in the 69th minute when Oura doubled Stellies’ lead after Bay failed to clear Basadien Fawaaz’s corner kick. 

Substitute Antonio van Wyk completed the rout two minutes before time, curling in a stunner after he was given plenty of room by Bay’s defence that looked even more disjointed after letting in the first two goals. 

Barker’s team deserve their place in the final as they won their previous two cup matches away from home, beating Chippa United and Polokwane City to get to the semis.

As bitter as this defeat might be, in hindsight it will give Tembo plenty of time to focus on saving the team from relegation after a poor start to the club’s second season in the top-flight.

Bay, who are second from bottom in the DStv Premiership after collecting 10 points out of 13 matches, face Royal AM in Pietermaritzburg next Sunday.


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