David on target as Cape Town City win Western Cape derby against Stellenbosch
Chris David scored an early goal as Cape Town City claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over newly-promoted Stellenbosch FC in the first Western Cape derby at Athlone Stadium on Saturday.
City should have won by a greater margin, and then were almost made to pay for their profligacy in front off goal as Stellenbosch finished the game the stronger.
The Winelands side’s game-plan is fairly one-dimensional, they are structured and organised, but rely heavily on the pace of Iqraam Rayners up front and look to get him behind the defence at every opportunity.
That will work against some teams in this league, but not those with the quality and guile of City, who should have been out of sight before having to survive some late scores.
City coach Benni McCarthy, who returned to the dug-out after missing the season-opening 2-2 draw at Baroka FC following the birth of his son in Scotland, made just one change to his side, with Ebrahim Seedat coming in for Abbubaker Mobara, who was not included in the squad at all.
City did all the early pressing and were rewarded with a neatly-worked goal as David lashed in a shot from just inside the box that nestled in the bottom corner.
It was a composed and classy finish as he beat his fellow Dutchman Boy de Jong in the Stellenbosch goal.
It was also a first goal conceded by the visitors this season, the precise build-up too easily unblocking their static defence.
Stellenbosch almost hit back minutes later when the pacey and dangerous Rayners burst into the box after rushing past three defenders, but the third Dutch player on the pitch, Peter Leeuwenburgh, was quickly out to save bravely at his feet.
It should have been 2-0 when a brilliant ball from Thami Mkhize set Kermit Erasmus on goal.
With time to pick his spot, he could only find keeper De Jong and Surprise Ralani blazed over the rebound with the goal gaping.
Quick-thinking from a free-kick set Erasmus on goal again, but the Cape Town wind held the ball up and in the end his snap-shot was blocked by the visiting keeper.
Gift Links used his pace to get behind the Stellenbosch defence and round keeper De Jong early in the second period, but his eventual shot from an angle was weak and cleared by the defender.
Stellenbosch came close to an equaliser with a scramble in the box that was poked off the line by a home defender, before substitute Waseem Isaacs somehow missed the target with acres of time and space in the box.
It was a nervous finish to what should have been a comfortable win.