Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker believes his side gave as good as they got in their defeat to Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout on Saturday.
Stellies weathered a heavy storm for large parts of the match until Thembinkosi Lorch broke the deadlock in the last seven minutes to seal 1-0 win for the Soweto giants.
Goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt was arguably the reason why Stellies lost by just a single margin, as he pulled off numerous saves.
“Obviously, they scored late, up until then I thought we gave it as good obviously we were under pressure and had to defend. They had a lot of shots, opportunities but not really for me any real for me any clear cut chances,” Barker told SuperSport TV.
This was Stellies first appearance in the Telkom Knockout following their promotion to the top flight at the end of last season.
Barker is proud of the way his charges acquitted themselves given the away factor and numerous changes to the line-up.
“We were hoping from transition maybe we would get something from the game. So it was never going to be easy, number one we away from home and we made seven changes to the team from Polokwane.
“We wanted to have a look at players and I can only be proud of the effort, commitment, work rate. To stay in the game as long as we did, obviously I’m very proud of the effort,” Barker said.
Langeveldt, who starred between the sticks, highlighted the difficulty of the match and backed his teammates to pick up their heads.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game. But I think we put up a good fight, pity about the result but we’ll keep on working- I think next week so we’ll keep on working.
“I think we defended well. I think they were coming at us so credit must go to the defence, the whole team actually but we’ll work on it going forward and try create more opportunities in the last third.