Football

RAYNERS STARS IN VICTORY OVER SWALLOWS

Stellenbosch FC players celebrate a goal scored by Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 game between Stellenbosch FC and Swallows FC at Danie Craven Stadium on 22 April 2023 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Stellenbosch returned to winning ways in the DStv Premiership as they beat Swallows 3-0 at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday evening to climb into the top half of the table.

Iqraam Rayners was the star of the show as he struck a goal in each half before assisting Ibraheem Jabaar to seal the win 10 minutes from time that took Steve Barker’s side up to sixth place.

The Dube Birds remain just two points clear of the bottom two in 14th position after seeing a two-match unbeaten run come to an end.

Stellenbosch were looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM in the league, while Swallows hoped to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone after picking up four points from their previous two games – a 1-0 win over AmaZulu and a 0-0 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns.

The visitors almost got off to a flying start when Waseem Isaacs lined up a shot from range in the fifth minute that seemed destined for the top left corner of the net, only for Sage Stephens to pull off a superb save.

Stellies threatened for the first time on the quarter-hour mark, although Junior Mendieta failed to keep his shot down from outside the box and Rayners spurned a glorious chance midway through the first half as he fluffed his attempt after the ball fell kindly for him inside the area.

However, the in-form striker soon made amends when he met Mendieta’s ball into the box and slotted home past Daniel Akpeyi to break the deadlock.

The team from Soweto almost restored parity 11 minutes later as Isaacs got on the end of Kwandakwensizwa Mngonyama’s cross to draw another fine save out of Stephens with a header.

Akpeyi was quickly called into action early in the second half to deny Fawaaz Basadien from inside the box on the left in the 48th minute but he was beaten again just before the hour mark by Rayners, who picked out the bottom left corner of the goal from range.

Devon Titus looked to get in on the action six minutes later with a strike from inside the area on the right that Akpeyi kept out at his near post before a flurry of chances at both ends saw Rayners denied his hat-trick from inside the box, while Isaacs was unable to beat Stephens with a header from Nicholus Lukhubeni’s cross moments later.

Jayden Adams then drew a good save out of Akpeyi after being picked out inside the area by Mendieta, although the Maroons made the game safe five minutes later when Rayners turned provider to set up Jabaar for their third goal.

Evans Rusike nearly pulled one back in stoppage time but sent his shot from range inches wide of the left post.

Stellenbosch (1) 3 (Rayners 29′, 59′, Jabaar 80′)

Swallows (0) 0

Stellenbosch:S. Stephens, D. van Rooyen, O. Makhanya, V. Sibiya, F. Basadien, D. Titus (S. Mngomezulu 87′), S. Mthethwa, J. Adams (S. Nduli 82′), I. Jabaar (N. Mgaga 90+1′), I. Rayners (A. Van Wyk 86′), J. Mendieta (J. Ortiz 82′).

Swallows:D. Akpeyi, K. Mngonyama, K. Allan, J. Sait, B. Sam (M. Shwabule 77′), G. Damons (N. Lukhubeni 58′), T. Mthethwa, L. Mtshali, T. Patjie (E. Rusike 58′), K. Malinga (D. Matsheke 83′), W. Isaacs (M. Musonda 77′).

© Backpage TXT

SOURCED FROM THE PSL WEBSITE.

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