Must-win game for Stel­lies

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REINERS

STEL­LEN­BOSCH FC coach Sammy Troughton has ad­mit­ted that it is a case of win or bust in to­mor­row’s pro­mo­tion play-off match against Baroka FC at the Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Polok­wane (kick-off 3pm).

On Wed­nes­day, Baroka de­feated Black Leop­ards 2-1 to surge to the top of the play-off stand­ings. With the three clubs hav­ing played two games each, and with two games re­main­ing, Baroka have four points, fol­lowed by Stel­len­bosch on two and Leop­ards on one point. At stake, of course, is a place in the elite league next sea­son.

There is no other op­tion for Stel­len­bosch. They can­not bank on Leop­ards to do them any favours, which is why they have to take their des­tiny in their own hands – and, to do that, they have to win and take all three points against Baroka to­mor­row.

Troughton and his tech­ni­cal staff watched the Baroka-Leop­ards game closely mid­week. They will con­tinue to study the strengths and weak­nesses of the op­po­si­tion, in a bid to find a way to seal the vic­tory they so des­per­ately need.

“I’ve said it right from the start of the play-offs, but it’s even more so now – this is a Cup fi­nal for us,” said Troughton. “We know what we’ve got to do and we just have to sort out our own busi­ness. We have to go there and get a pos­i­tive re­sult.”

In Stel­len­bosch’s two draws to date, they showed some great re­solve and de­ter­mi­na­tion. There was a lot to like about their de­fen­sive or­gan­i­sa­tion and over­all com­mit­ment, but they just haven’t had enough in at­tack. But, for the Cape Winelands club to achieve their ob­jec­tive of vic­tory to­mor­row, they’ll have to find a way to score.

“We will, of course, be cau­tious, but we will have to ask some dif­fi­cult ques­tions of Baroka in at­tack,” said the Stel­len­bosch coach. “We will start from a solid base and, when we have op­por­tu­ni­ties to go for­ward, we have to make use of our chances. We will look to at­tack them aeri­ally and also from set-pieces.”

As for Baroka, they’ll be up for this one. An­other vic­tory will place them in pole po­si­tion to re­tain their spot in the PSL next sea­son. Their win over Leop­ards in mid­week came de­spite the on­go­ing up­heaval with re­gard to their coach­ing staff. Be­fore the Leop­ards game, Baroka an­nounced that they had sus­pended co-coach Mil­ton Dlamini for what was termed “un­be­com­ing be­hav­iour”. So, the other co-coach, Kgoloko Thobe­jane, took charge and steered the team to vic­tory.

Thobe­jane will have his Baroka team mo­ti­vated to the hilt.

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