Stars shine too bright for Bucs
Posted: 1 April 2017 Time: 16:48
Free State Stars put on a stunning display to hand Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret his first PSL defeat at James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday.
Moeketsi Sekola, Paulus Masehe and Mohammed Anas all scored for the home side while Thela Ngobeni netted an own-goal before Tendai Ndoro converted a penalty as the score ended 3-2.
Stars took the lead as early as the fourth minute after Sekola broke the off-side trap to get onto the end of Nhlanhla Vilakazi's angled ball and blasted beyond Brighton Mhlongo from close range.
The home side continued probing and doubled their lead less than 10 minutes later as captain Masehe rose well to direct Sinethemba Jantjie's free-kick into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
Anas could have added a third in the 17th minute after a delightful lobbed pass from Sekola, but the former narrowly beat the upright after making slight work of his marker Thabo Matlaba.
Ea Lla Koto dominated the early stages as they unlocked the Pirates defence for a third time in the opening 20 minutes, when Jantjie cut inside to lose Ntsikelelo Nyauza and then hit the crossbar with a beautifully curled effort.
Bucs gnawed their way back into the tie when Thembinkosi Lorch got onto the end of a Matlaba cross, with the winger's shot from 10-yards out ricocheting off two Stars defenders before going in off goalkeeper Ngobeni.
Anas then restored the two-goal cushion just short of the half-hour mark, with a sumptious hit after Rooi Mahamutsa teed it up for the striker to bang into the roof of the net.
Pirates won a penalty in stoppage time prior to the first half break, after Oupa Manyisa was brought down by Makhehlene Makhuala inside the box, and Ndoro stepped up to bag his 12th goal of the season.
The second half was a much tighter affair as the tempo of the game dropped, with both sides taking a more cautious approach after a largely open affair in the first 45 minutes.
Sekola made a good run down the left flank before crossing into the middle for Anas, who had strayed slightly offside before Mhlongo blocked his tap-in effort and the nearside official raised his flag.
Sekola could have added a second to his season-tally in the final 10 minutes but his toe-poked effort from close range shaved the near-post with Mhlongo beaten.
HOME: Free State Stars
Coach: Serame Letsoaka
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Kjell Jonevret