Stellenbosch target Sundowns scalp after Pirates triumph

Stellenbosch target Sundowns scalp after Pirates triumph

Stellenbosch FC spent an extra three nights in Gauteng following their 1-0 cup win over Orlando Pirates and are now targeting the scalp of defending DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Cape Winelands side managed to beat the Buccaneers in their MTN8 semi-final second leg on Sunday, although they were undone by the away-goal rule, which helped Pirates progress to the final scheduled for 7 October. 

Despite being ravaged by injuries and suspensions, coach Steve Barker believes his charges have it in them to cause an upset at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

"We are a little bit depleted. [Fawaz] Basadien and [Deano] Van Rooyen, unfortunately, won't be available. [Iqraam] Rayners, we'll obviously have to assess, but it doesn't look likely [that he'll play], and obviously [Jayden] Adams got his fourth yellow," noted Barker.

"So we are thin, it's just what it is, and the big part for us is to be competitive as much as we can against Sundowns."

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With high-profile players like Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Junior Mendieta, and Olwethu Makhanya all sold during the transfer window that has just ended, all eyes will be on whoever is set to step up to try and fill those gaps.

"It goes without saying that, if you do lose players like that then you need others to step up and put their hand up," acknowledged the former AmaTuks mentor.

"I think a player like Genino Palace, for me, has been an absolutely great signing for us. His work rate, his quality on the ball, he's aerially strong, he's got a long foot – you'd think he's lost the ball but he gets a touch, and he's been really good for us.

"But ja, we're still sort of looking at solutions in the attacking department, in terms of the output and numbers that Mendieta gave us. We haven't yet been able to do that, which we knew would be tough, but it's all a work in progress."

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