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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Stellenbosch make remarkable comeback to beat Pirates

Stellies finish the year in third place on the league standings with 26 points after 15 matches.

A sensational second-half performance by Stellenbosch FC saw them edge Orlando Pirates 3-2 in a thrilling DStv Premiership encounter at Orlando Stadium on Friday.

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Stellies, who were recently crowned Carling Black Label Knockout champions, went from being 2-0 down to ending up winning the match thanks to their good fighting spirit, spearheaded by substitute Antonio van Wyk.

Stellies finish the year one point above Pirates in the table, with 26 points after 15 matches.

Bucs had a good start to the match with a few chances. Evidence Makgopa miscued a shot from inside the box with only the keeper to beat. Deon Hotto also saw his chance from the left side go wide of the post.

The away side were struggling to get things going their way, with their counter-attack play always being stopped by the Bucs rearguard. But they did manage to make some threat at goal. A promising Devin Titus long-range shot was parried away by keeper Melusi Buthelezi.

The Buccaneers were given a penalty after Thabo Moloisane handled the ball inside the box just after the half-hour mark. Captain Tapelo Xoki stood up to take the set-piece and made no mistake, sending Sage Stephens the wrong way to put the Buccaneers into the lead, which they took into half time.

The second half saw the tempo of the game go higher, with Stellies looking determined to get an equaliser.

But it was Pirates who extended the lead with a nice flick from Makgopa in the 59th minute.A few minutes later, a defensive blunder by Pirates saw Iqraam Rayners pull one goal back before Titus made it 2-2 from a rebound off Van Wyk’s shot.

Van Wyk was once again the provider as he combined well with another substitute Andre de Jong, who volleyed the winger’s cross into the net in the 77th minute.

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The later stages of the game saw many chances falling at both ends, but the score-line remained the same as Stellies walked away with maximum points. 

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