Free State held by Polokwane
Posted: 19 March 2016 Time: 15:03
Free State Stars missed out on a hat-trick of Absa Premiership wins as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Polokwane City at Goble Park on Saturday.
Following their draw, Giovanni Solinas's team remain eighth with 32 points from 23 matches after Lucky Mohomi scored from a set-piece.
For the visitors, Muzikayifani Ngidi raised his hand to score an equaliser and ensured they bagged a point as they occupy the 13th spot with 23 points from as many matches.
Although both sides started cautiously, the visitors became the first side to try at goal when Ngidi's header went wide in the fifth minute after a great cross by skipper Jabu Maluleke.
Three minutes later, Nhlanhla Vilakazi attempted to beat George Chigova but failed to hit the target when he saw his well taken shot going wide to the left of Johnny Mathole's posts.
City nearly bagged a lead in the 15th minute when Maluleke delivered a great cross but it failed to find targetmen such as Ngidi and Thobani Mncwango in the box and stars cleared the danger.
Although Solinas’s men continued to play good football, they couldn't penetrate the Citizens' defence manned by the experienced Thapelo Tshilo.
With nine minutes to the interval, Ngidi beat Stars defender Makhehleni Makhaula in the box, however, he was let down by his attempt as he targeted the top corner with Mathole merely becoming a spectator.
In the 41st minute, a header by Justice Chabalala from Davis Nkausu's cross couldn't trouble Chigova as it went astray for a goal kick.
It was 0-0 at the interval, but the hosts showed their intentions a minute after their return by taking the game to Julio Leal's men, yet Katlego Mashego's shot went too high over the posts.
The hosts took 55 minutes to break the deadlock when Mohomi beat Chigova on his right corner from a brilliantly taken free-kick outside the box.
Nevertheless, City tried to respond in the 60th minute when Ngidi took a shot but missed and they also received a set piece but a header from Tshilo went over the woodwork.
After another 10 minutes, Ngidi received a wonderful pass from Jorry Matjila in the box and the former finished powerfully from a tight angle off Stars defender Chabalala on the line to make it 1-1.
With the hosts chasing a lead, Chabalala nearly beat the Zimbabwean keeper Chigova on his near post with a powerful header, but the net minder produced a great save with nine minutes remaining.
In the dying stages of the tie, Solinas introduced Moeketsi Sekola who was granted a chance to bag a winner but the striker failed to keep his shot low and missed the target and it ended at 1-1.
HOME: Free State Stars
Coach: Giovanni Solinas
AWAY: Polokwane City
Coach: Julio Leal