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Stellenbosch gave Kaizer Chiefs a run for their money, says Steve Barker

11:00 PM MYT 11/03/2018
AmaTuks coach Steve Barker
The Stellies gaffer lamented his side's poor decision making in the final third

Despite coming close to bagging a win over Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup, Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has wished Amakhosi the best of luck.

The former Wits University midfielder saw his National First Division (NFD) side lose 2-1 to Chiefs at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Barker’s troops netted through Alan Robertson in the second half, but goals from Erick Mathoho and Leonardo Castro were enough for Amakhosi to secure a win.

The win saw Steve Komphela and his men reach the quarter-finals of the Ke Yona competition and Barker has congratulated the Naturena-based giants.

In this competition, the two sides have met twice in consecutive seasons, with Stellies losing 3-0 at Athlone Stadium last season.

Although they challenged Amakhosi, Barker felt his charges lacked a bit of quality in the final third against their opponent.

“Congratulations to Kaizer Chiefs. I wish them all the best in the rest of the competition. It was a tough game for us,” Barker told SuperSport TV after the game.

“We lacked a bit of quality in the final third in the first half and when we got the goal back, I thought we had a chance to come back and we pressed a bit," he continued.

“But ultimately I have to be proud of the players. We gave it our best shot but fell a bit short at the end," he said.

The former University of Pretoria boss credited his men for a great display, but lamented their decision making upfront as they failed to trouble Itumeleng Khune in Chiefs goal.

Stellies’ goalkeeper Washington Arubi had a good game as he marshalled his defence to keep the Naturena-based side at bay.

However, he conceded twice on the night as Amakhosi eased their three-year trophy drought concerns under Komphela.

“We played some good football. I just felt once we got in the final third our options were not right. But I have got to be proud of the effort," he lamented.

“We took on a good team like Chiefs and gave them a run for their money so what can I say," he concluded.