Free State Stars beat Santos at Athlone
Posted: 2 May 2012 Time: 21:52
Free State Stars made sure Santos’ quest to avoid relegation becomes that much harder as they recorded a 1-0 win at Athlone on Wednesday night.
The first half was for the most part dominated by the visiting team, whose pace and slick passing made for hard work for Santos. The People’s Team did have a few chances, but never really came close to scoring in the opening stanza.
The first opportunity came in the second minute, but Phikolomzi Kefile was unable to get a boot on to Eleazar Rodgers’ flicked header.
Ea Lla Koto struck first blood after just nine minutes when a mistake in the middle of the park by Santos saw the ball worked quickly to Dove Wome, who finished with a clinical volley across the body of keeper Pa Demba Touray.
On 30 minutes the People’s Team had what looked a promising opportunity, but Rodgers was just not able to make contact with Ricardo Skippers’ driven cross.
The remainder of the half saw the visiting team enjoying more of the ball possession, but not really able to trouble the home defence.
The Cape side started the second half in a more positive vein, showing more purpose and intent on attack, with Tawonga Chimodzi shooting just over from 20-yards, Nasief Morris driving a free-kick into the stands and then Vuyisile Wana just failed to pick out Bheki Shabangu.
Stars could well have added the cushion of a second goal in the 67th minute, but keeper Touray did really well to deny Edward Manqele, who had been clean through on goal.
Santos continued to apply pressure to the Stars defence, with a series of corner kicks, but it was only Rodgers’ free-kick which forced Kennedy Mweene into making what in the end was a fairly routine save.
Shabangu had a great chance with five minutes to go, but following a goal-mouth scramble was just not able to keep his shot under the bar.
There was also a late opportunity for Rodgers, but Stars defender Soriola Gege did superbly to get in the block, with that going Santos’ last chance at salvaging at least a point.