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Free State Stars demolish Santos

Posted: 13 February 2008 Time: 17:40

Free State Stars ran riot in their opening Absa Premiership second round encounter when they thrashed Santos 4-1 at Goble Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Sthembiso Ngcobo opened the scoring for Ea Lla Koto before Thulasizwe Mbuyane added a brace, with Siyabonga Mdluli rounding off the scoring, while Kingston Nkatha also missed a penalty for the hosts. Thando Mngomeni netted for the People’s Team.

The hosts dominated from the offset and went ahead as early as the eighth minute when Ngcobo slotted home from close range after receiving a good pass from Mbuyane.

Santos almost drew level in the 17th minute when Bevan Fransch sent a free-kick into the host’ penalty area, but Eleazar Rodgers’ header flew straight at keeper Kennedy Mweene.

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Stars should have doubled their lead in the 29th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Musa Otieno handled the ball inside the area, but Nkatha dragged his spot-kick wide of goal.

However, the hosts did make it 2-0 12 minutes later when they launched a quick counter attack following a Santos corner, which culminated in Mbuyane slotting home with a low shot from inside the area.

Mngomeni sent a free-kick narrowly wide of Stars’ goal in the 44th minute, and the score remained 2-0 at the break.

The visitors started the second period in much better fashion, winning a succession of corners, and were rewarded in the 53rd minute when Mngomeni headed home from a cross by Rodgers.

However, Stars stepped up a gear and restored their two-goal cushion seven minutes later when Mbuyane ran onto a good pass by substitute Diyo Sibisi to slot home from inside the area.

Eleazar Rodgers almost made it 3-2 six minutes later, but his long range effort hit the crossbar. Mdluli then rounded off the scoring in clinical fashion with a low shot from just inside the area following a good build-up, to hand Stars the three points.

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