Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila have registered back-to-back wins for the first time in the DStv Premiership after defeating Stellenbosch FC 1-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
Vhadau Vha Damani secured a second successive three-point haul thanks to a first-half goal from Thembisani Nevhulamba, with the result putting them six points clear of the relegation zone in 14th. The Maroons, meanwhile, are level with TTM in 13th but have now gone seven league games without a win.
Stellenbosch bossed the opening exchanges, enjoying most of the possession as they forced Tshakhuma onto the back foot.
The craft of Junior Mendieta and Phathutshedzo Nange helped the visitors put together some good attacking moves, though TTM goalkeeper Washington Arubi was not called into significant action in the opening quarter.
The hosts gradually began to find their passing rhythm and started bringing the likes of Thabo Mnyamane, Joseph Malongoane and Miguel Timm into the game.
The shift of momentum was confirmed on the half-hour mark when a shot direct from a free kick by Mnyamane was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Sage Stephens, allowing Thembisani Nevhulamba a tap-in from the rebound for 1-0.
The Maroons had a further blow when forward Stanley Dimgba had to be replaced in the wake of the goal, making way for Ashley Du Preez.
The substitute did have a role in setting up Stellies’ best chance of an equaliser before the halftime break, but Mogamad De Goede blasted his effort high and wide on 40 minutes to leave Tshakhuma 1-0 up at the interval.
The Maroons made a second change at the start of the second half, withdrawing Leletu Skelem in favour of Dean Van Rooyen in a swap which saw the Cape side start the second half with more energy and intent.
Stellenbosch created a string of half chances for the likes of Du Preez, Van Rooyen and Mendieta, but they lacked the necessary precision and penetration to really threaten the home team’s defence, with Arubi not called upon to make any significant saves for most of the second stanza.
That changed in the 79th minute when Van Rooyen played a well-weighted pass to put Du Preez in on goal, but TTM’s goalkeeper made a fine save one-on-one to keep the Limpopo team 1-0 up.
That proved to be the last good chance Stellies would create, with TTM able to hold on and secure a full haul of three points.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action on Tuesday 2 March, with Tshakhuma at home to Kaizer Chiefs and Stellenbosch hosting Mamelodi Sundowns.
Tshakhuma TM (1) 1 (Nevhulamba 30’)
Stellenbosch FC 0
Tshakhuma: Arubi, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Ravhuhali, Nonyane, Timm, Madhanaga (Manaka 77’), Theron (Lamola 66’), Nevhulamba (R. Manzini 67’), Malongoane (Ngele 77’), Mnyamane (Rakhale 66’)
Stellenbosch: Stephens, Macheke, Johannes (Khunyedi 70’), Robertson, De Goede, van Heerden, Jabaar (Scott 73’), Nange (Sinkala 70’), Mendieta, Skelem (Van Rooyen 46’), Dimgba (Du Preez 31’)