Fresh from a big win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday evening, Cape Town City were downed by neighbours Stellenbosch who handed them a 1-0 defeat in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Thursday evening at Tuks Stadium.
Although the Citizens were favourites to bag maximum points, coach Steve Barker’s men were also in high spirits after their 1-0 win over Golden Arrows last weekend.
Coming to the match, the hosts started on a good note as they pushed for an early goal and Asavela Mbelike came close in the 17th minute on the far post, but he failed to connect with the cross from the right-hand side.
Coach Jan Olde Riekerink’s troops were not the same team that defeated the reigning PSL champions on Monday evening at Loftus Versfeld Stadium as they seemed to struggle to penetrate their neighbours.
Midfielder Granwald Scott attempted to beat goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh in the 42nd minute from a rebound, but his well-driven half-volley was blocked to deflect for a corner kick.
However, striker Kermit Erasmus broke the deadlock a minute later with a brilliant chip on goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt, but the goal was not allowed and adjudged for an off-side.
Defender Abbubaker Mobara was called to produce a fine clearance on the goal line after Ashley Du Preez managed to break free and beat Leeuwenburgh, but his effort was cleared by the former Orlando Pirates defender on the stroke of half-time.
The opening half ended in a goalless draw.
Upon their emergence from the tunnel, Barker’s troops came back stronger and pushed the former MTN8 champions to commit errors at the back.
Leletu Skelem managed to eventually make it 1-0 for the Cape Winelands outfit with a long-range effort to beat the experienced keeper, Leeuwenburgh, on his left corner in the 50th minute.
The 64th minute gave the Citizens an opportunity to equalize but substitute Tashreeq Morris could not bury a cross from the left-flank through Ebrahim Seedat as the target man saw his free header sailing inches wide off the left corner.
City was awarded a set-piece in a dangerous area when Morris was fouled on the edge of the box, veteran Mpho Makola took the free-kick and it was initially blocked before the rebound hit the woodwork and eventually cleared in the 81st minute.
The dying stages of the encounter saw Riekerink's men controlling the proceedings in the heart of the park, and Langeveldt denied Morris from close range as the keeper was well-positioned to hold onto the shot.
Resulting from the victory, the former National First Division (NFD) champions now occupy 11th spot with 33 points from 25 games whilst their visitors sit seventh with as many points so far.
Meanwhile, the win hands Stellies a massive boost as they will face log leaders, Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday evening at Orlando Stadium.