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Barker: Why We Lost To Bay And Sundowns To City

  • May 28, 2024
  • 2 min read
Barker: Why We Lost To Bay And Sundowns To City

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker believes the unexpected defeats of Mamelodi Sundowns and his own team on the final day of the DStv Premiership season demonstrate the intense competition that exists when teams fight for survival.

Sundowns suffered their first league loss of the season at Loftus Stadium against Cape Town City on Saturday, shattering their hopes of an undefeated season. This marked the first league defeat under coach Rulani Mokwena since his appointment in October 2022 and ended their 54-game unbeaten streak dating back to September 2022.

Similarly, Stellenbosch’s impressive 25-match unbeaten run across all competitions, which began in September and lasted until early May, was halted by Sundowns and Moroka Swallows a few weeks ago. Their final league game ended with a loss to Bay on Saturday.

Bay, like Stellenbosch, desperately needed points to avoid relegation but ultimately fell short and will compete in the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Kaizer Chiefs also suffered a defeat to Cape Town Spurs in their final match, although Ernst Middendorp’s team were already relegated to the Motsepe Foundation Championship after finishing last.

“This is a tough league,” admitted Barker, whose side will now feature in the CAF Confederation Cup next season after they were pipped in the second spot by Orlando Pirates.  

“Sundowns getting their unbeaten run broken, a team like Kaizer Chiefs weren’t able to get over the line when they had things under their control. It is a tough league and sometimes it is those teams who are desperate at the bottom of the table at this time of the season who are difficult to play against.  

“We just needed to be more ruthless.” 

Despite losing their grip on second place in the final game, Stellenbosch can look back on a successful season. They secured their first-ever trophy, the Carling Knockout Cup, in December in Durban, while their reserve team emerged victorious in the Dstv Diski Challenge. Coach Barker is also nominated for the PSL Coach of the Season award.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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