Stars deny Sundowns victory
Posted: 21 February 2018 Time: 05:15 pm
Free State Stars came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw against Absa Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday.
Unusually, Downs drafted in six foreigners, while Ea Lla Koto were looking for their first win in Tshwane since 2011.
It didn’t take the Tshwane giants long to go in front when Percy Tau found space in the box to comfortably snatch his eighth league goal of the season in the fourth minute.
With their tails up, they expectantly searched for a second after Gaston Sirino turned his marker on the edge of the area, only to fire way off target.
Despite their best efforts to maintain the onslaught, Stars' first shot on goal came after 15 minutes when Nhlanhla Vilakazi looked to catch Denis Onyango off guard.
Zimbabwean Khama Billiat looked to mark his return with a goal but he produced dismal efforts on two separate occasions.
The game’s first change saw Bangaly Soumahoro forced out through injury, with Motjeka Madisha replacing him in the 25th minute.
Two minutes later, Jeremy Brockie got an inviting opportunity to break his duck but misfired metres away from goal.
It got more frustrating for the New Zealander when he saw his well-executed header excellently saved by Badra Ali Sangare on the half-hour mark.
Once more, Brockie looked to get on the scoresheet on the stroke of half-time but he failed yet again in his efforts.
Siphelele Mthembu turned inside the box and went goal-side, but fired into the side-netting seconds from the break.
Mthembu redeemed himself in the 53rd minute with the equaliser after Thapelo Morena failed to properly clear his lines.
Having just won the Goal of the Month, Tiyani Mabunda almost fashioned up another stunner with a shot that forced Sangare to push it away for a corner following the former’s first-time volley after 65 minutes.
As the chances began to open up at both ends, Tebogo Langerman managed to create space inside the box but failed to get the best out of Sangare.
In the end, both sides had to settle for the draw, with Downs extending their lead to five points ahead of second-place Kaizer Chiefs.
HOME: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane
AWAY: Free State Stars
Coach: Luc Eymael