Stellies can’t afford to go a man down
IF there’s one lesson Stellenbosch FC can learn from their first-round 3-1 defeat away to defending PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of tonight’s clash with the Brazilians at Athlone Stadium (7.30pm kickoff), it is not to get a red card, says goalkeeper Lee-Raoul Langeveldt.
Stellenbosch held the lead at halftime in a first league meeting between the two teams back in November before conceding a penalty that was converted, and then, after falling behind to the Brazilians, shot themselves in the foot when defender Mogamad
de Goede was red-carded in the 73rd minute. The hosts went 3-1 up a minute later to see off the top-flight rookies.
Langeveldt says they will be aiming to keep all 11 players on the field.
“We can’t afford being a man down facing a top team like Sundowns. They have a quality squad with talent in each position. So we won’t focus on individual players, but to have our own game plan on how we can get a positive result. I think we showed it in the previous game, but let it slip. At the end maybe it was a lesson we can learn is not to get a red card,” Langeveldt said.
“It’s a massive game for us not because it’s Sundowns, but what we want to achieve this season as a club. We all know what Sundowns can do so we will respect them but not fear them, and I think we showed it in our first-round encounter. We always play to win and I think we will get something out of the game.”
Stellenbosch find themselves in 11th place on the league standings on 27 points, while Sundowns are second on 41 with two games in hand over log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
Chiefs came off second-best last time out to bottom-placed AmaZulu, losing 1-0 at home. So there is no reason why Stellenbosch can’t pull off an upset over the men from Pretoria.
LEE-RAOUL Langeveldt is confident Stellenbosch can get a positive result against Sundowns tonight.