Stars send Wits packing
Posted: 22 October 2016 Time: 13:51
Free State Stars sent Bidvest Wits packing from the Telkom Knockout with a 3-1 thumping at Goble Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The opening 15 minutes saw both teams adopt a physical approach as they looked to stamp their authority on the pitch, and it resulted in an injury-enforced substitution for Wits.
Thabang Monare was hauled off after Bokang Tlhone lashed out and caught him on the left-knee, which lead to Ben Motshwari's early entrance into the game.
It took almost 20 minutes for the first attempt at goal, and two came in quick succession when Goodman Dlamini flahsed an effort from range just wide of the mark, before Gabadinho Mhango volleyed narrowly over at the other end.
Elias Pelembe then came closest just after the half-hour mark when he sent a powerful left-footed shot onto the crossbar, after great individual work to cut inside from the right flank.
Three minutes before the half-time break, Mhango also hit the upright with a headed effort from close range.
The second half saw both sides give little away, as the pace of the game slowed down and chances came few and far between.
Stars had a chance right at the death when Mobbie whipped in a lovely cross but substitute Thokozani Sekotlong awlwardly tried to flick the ball towards goal from the near-post but made a mess of it.
The match headed into extra-time as regulaltion time failed to produce any goals, and Ea Lla Koto stamped their authority early on.
Sekola finally broke the deadlock with a header from close range, after great work from Mobbie down the right flank for Stars.
Two minutes later, Dlamini doubled their lead with a cool finish after a lovely lay-off from opering goal scorer Sekola.
Danny Venter eventually added a third in the second half of extra-time, finishing low beyong Darren Keet.
Daine Klate then bagged a consolation in fine fashion in the 119th minute as he thumped a right-footed effort from the edge of the box, onto the crossbar and into the net.
HOME: Free State Stars
Coach: Giovanni Solinas
AWAY: Bidvest Wits
Coach: Gavin Hunt