Stars win relegation battle
Posted: 15 February 2014 Time: 15:11
Free State Stars got three massive points when they beat fellow strugglers Golden Arrows 2-1 at Goble Park on Saturday afternoon.
Paulus Masehe had given the homeside a 1-0 halftime lead, and that was double after the break by Richard Henyekane. Bongi Ntuli pulled one back for Arrows, but it proved nothing more than a consolation.
The hosts fired the first shot in the seventh minute, but the woodwork came to Arrows’ rescue as Henyekane rattled the crossbar with a dipping strike from outside the box.
Ntuli had sight of goal in the 17th minute after making a solo run from deep, but he lost his balance under a challenge from Daniel Cardoso and skewed his shot wide.
Masehe managed to hit the target in the 25th minute, but his shot lacked the pace to trouble Arthur Bartman, while Henyekane sent his volley wide four minutes later.
The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute as Masehe fired a low shot into the back of the net from just inside the area.
Ea Lla Koto should have doubled their lead in the 41st minute as Henyekane played the ball back towards Muhamad Patel on the edge of the penalty area, but the young forward blasted his shot over.
Daniel Cardoso was then forced to clear the ball off the line in the 44th minute to keep his side in the lead at half-time, preventing a sure own-goal after an Arrows’ corner had deflected off Jurie Basie.
Ntuli had two good chances early in the second half, but the Arrows striker volleyed over the crossbar in the 54th minute before shooting straight at the goalkeeper two minutes later.
The lead was doubled in the 58th minute as Henyekane fired past Bartman from just inside the box after controlling a headed pass from Mthokozisi Yende.
Philani Shange tried to get his side back into the game, but his winger curler his shot wide in the 62nd minute, before bending another effort just wide ten minutes later.
Substitute Ntlantla Zothwane then forced a save from Motsoeneng in the 77th minute, before Bartman came off his line to deny Henyekane his brace four minutes later.
Arrows did eventually get the ball into the back of the net in the 84th minute as Ntuli beat Motsoeneng at his near post with a solid header, connecting with a cross from William Twala.
Henyekane could have restored the two-goal lead two minutes later, but his effort was blocked by Bartman, while Twala shot over the crossbar at the other end in the first minute of added time.
Stars remain in 15th place with 16 points from 17 matches, while Arrows are still in 16th place with 13 points from 18 matches.