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Charles Mopeli
08/11/2008 15:00

Ruben Cloete of Free State Stars and Sakhile Makhathini of Bay United.

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Stars leave it late against Bay

Posted: 8 November 2008 Time: 17:51

Free State Stars came from behind to beat Bay United 2-1 to progress to the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout Cup in a thrilling encounter at the Charles Mopeli stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides struggled to express themselves in the early stages of the game. Stars, however, were the most aggressive in this scrappy affair and created the majority of chances, especially when they attacked down the flanks.

The first decent chance for the men from Free State came in the 19th minute when Duncan Lechesa supplied an inch perfect cross to find Tebelo Mofokeng unmarked inside the box, but he headed the ball straight at Tampungu Dikete who held the ball comfortably.

Three minutes later Mofokeng wished he was a couple of centimeters taller when a low cross from the right missed the keeper and agonisingly slipped past his out-stretched foot at the back post.

In the 30th minute Paulus Masehe came close for Stars again when his long range shot from 30 yards out skimmed the wrong side of the up-right.

Bay United struggled to find their footing in the first half and were virtually non existent until the 45th minute when the best chance of the half fell to Jimmy Zakazaka. United broke down the right and when the cross came into the box Zakazaka snuck in front of his defender to volley the ball at goal pulling the best out of the Stars keeper Kennedy Mweene.

Despite Vladislav Heric’s men’s lackluster performance in the second half it was them that opened the scoring two minutes after the restart. An in-swinging corner saw a miscued scissor-kick attempt fall to the feet of Luntu Mazana, who made no mistake from only three yards out as he knocked the ball between the legs of Mweene to find the back of the net, 1-0.

It was all Stars from there on out and Diyo Sibisi almost equalized three minutes later when a cross from the right found him unmarked at the back post. However, his shot was brilliantly saved by Dikete diving low to his right.

Ea Lla Koto did manage to grab their well-deserved equalizer in the 75th minute through substitute Saitjheni Tsotetsi. United had struggled with crosses the entire game and were made to pay when a cross from the left found the head of Tsotetsi, who rose above the rest to head home and bring his side back into the game, 1-1.

Stars snatched the winning goal seven minutes from time when United failed to deal with another cross and were made to pay the ultimate price. Jimmy Kauleza knocked them out of the 2008/09 Telkom Knockout when Dikete completely missed a cross from the left, leaving his goal wide open and when the ball found Kauleza behind him he made no mistake to score the winning goal to knock Bay United out of the competition.

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