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Chatsworth Stadium
21/01/2009 19:30

Francis Kombe takes on Jonathan Mensah

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Deadlock in Durbs

Posted: 21 January 2009 Time: 21:45

Golden Arrows and Free State Stars played to a 1-1 draw on a rainy Wednesday night at Chatsworth Stadium.

Two defensive errors resulted in the goals and both sides will go back to training to work on their shooting.

For the miserable weather on the night the two teams were not shy in getting forward and attempting shots on goal. However, despite the numerous efforts on the teams' respective goals, only a handful were on target which frustrated both the coaches and the players.

Arrows tried to use the pace of Richard Henyekane and Philani Shange to get round the Stars defence and it worked to an extent but their finishing in front of goal was dreadful. Ea Lla Koto, on the other hand, were extremely dangerous from set pieces and failed to impress in open play in the first 45.

The first decent opportunity of the game only came 20 minutes into the game and fell to Golden Arrows. Francis Kombe snuck in front of the Stars defence from a left hand cross, delicately flicking the ball on the upright. The rebound was forced into the net, but the goal was disallowed as the offside flag went up.

Kombe came close again five minutes later when he struck a well driven low shot from 25 yards out that was headed towards the bottom right corner. Stars 'keeper Kennedy Mweene was up to the challenge diving full stretch to his right to the ball around the post for a corner.

Arrows fans could consider themselves lucky as they received a double let off from Stars in the 27th minute. Helton Da Rocha produced some brilliance to deny Siyabonga Mdluli from a superb free-kick that he curled round the defensive wall from 25 yards out. Da Rocha's save rebounded to Sthembiso Ngcobo who struck the underside of the cross-bar from only six yards, squandering a golden opportunity.

The half continued with both teams giving as good as they got shooting from almost anywhere on the pitch, but all to no avail as their compasses needed readjusting.

The second half saw two defensive lapses result in the game's only two goals.

In the 55th minute Ngcobo grabbed his fifth goal in three matches after Da Rocha was quick off his line as he misjudged a through ball he believed he would get to first. Stars initiated a quick counter attack and played a well weighted through ball to Ngcobo, but the Arrows goalkeeper was out quickly trying to intercept the pass but Ngcobo got their first nudging the ball past him before sticking it into the back of the net, 1-0.

Abafana Bes'thende looked a different team after the goal was scored. They became more efficient taking control of possession and creating some decent chances.

Richard Henyekane almost equalised in the 63rd minute when he stung the finger tips of Mweene, firing a ferocious shot from the edge of the 18 yard box. Had it been other side of the keeper it would have been a certain goal.

For all their pressure Arrows did eventually find the goal that leveled matters but it didn't come from any brilliance by the Abafana Bes'thende players, instead it came from a fumbling Stars defence.

After a comedy of errors by the Stars defence in the 74th minute the ball spilled to Siyabonga Vezi who made no mistake from 12 yards out side-footing the ball into an empty net for his first PSL goal.

Arrows pressure mounted on the Free State goal but they couldn't turn any of that pressure into a decent goal scoring opportunity in the dying minutes.

The game ended in a draw which was a fair result.

Courtesy of Backpagepix

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