Absa Premiership match report Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates 11 December 2018
Posted: 11 December 2018 Time: 17:16
Orlando Pirates maintained top spot in the Absa Premiership with a 3-1 victory over Free State Stars at Goble Park.
Stars were out to drive more heartache inside the Bucs camp on the back of their Telkom Knockout title loss to Baroka FC couple of days ago.
Defender Rooi Mahamutsa was close to doing that after the opening minute, as he steered a long throw-in wide of the mark with a looping header.
Pirates were soon in front when a well-worked free-kick on the edge of the box by Justin Shonga picked out Thembinkosi Lorch to plug into the bottom corner.
Reaching the 20th minute mark, Linda Bhengu took a chance with a long range shot from outside the box after being set up by Sinethemba Jantjie, but shot well wide.
Lorch was hungry for more, and after spotting the opposing goalkeeper off his line, tried an audacious lob but it failed to find the intended target.
Possession turnover near the edge of the box found Augustine Mulenga who fed Vincent Pule to set-up Shonga to skip one challenge to tuck sweatly away.
As the contest seemed well out of their reach, Stars surprisingly still played with confidence and eloquence in their performances.
A chance inside the box fell to Harris Tchilimbou after a spell of neat passes, but the Congolese man was only able to spoil the move with a wayward header that failed to test Siyabonga Mpontshane.
The Sea Robbers started the second half in slow fashion, failing to pose any meaningful issues to the home side.
It’s a scenario Stars quickly picked out and utilised to found the back of the net with Happy Jele guiding a cross from Jantjie to his own net.
It was a goal which opened up their resolve and went close to drawing level, but Jantjie was denied by woodwork following his shot from outside the box.
A cross from the right picked out an on-rushing Sthembiso Dlamini to have a go with a first-time shot, but it went straight to Mpontshane.
A nicely laid knock down on the edge of the area set-up Jantjie with an on-coming run to take a shot, but Mpontshane acrobatically plugged it out of the air.
Pirates ended the game strongly in the final minutes, opting to play the hosts on the break with the pace of Shonga, Mulenga and Nyatama forcing Stars to defend with their backs to goal.
Ea Lla Koto were forced to end with a man short after Sibusiso Masina was handed his marching orders for an over-the-top type of challenge on Mpho Makola.
Bucs rounded off the encounter with Linda Mntambo picking up a ball from Mulenga before running at goal to dink in the bottom corner to take four points clear at the top.
HOME: Free State Stars
Coach: David Vilakazi
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Milutin Sredojevic