Stars see off Ke Yona Team
Posted: 9 September 2018 Time: 16:20
Nedbank Cup champions Free State Stars survived the threat from the Ke Yona team to run out 2-1 victors in Tembisa on Sunday.
The opening opportunity fell to Judas Moseamedi after the opposition failed to clear their lines from a throw-in, but the forward failed to make them pay after shooting straight at the goalkeeper.
The opener soon arrived and it was Yusuf Jappie propping up at the back post to hit a stunning volley past Thabo Mogotsi.
The joy was short-lived as Lunathi Mdatyulwa made space for himself near the edge of the box to beat Samkelo Mbambo with a low shot in the bottom corner.
Captain Nkanyiso Nene edged closer to grab a second, but Mbambo punched clear before gathering at the second attempt away from the potential feet of Cameron Paulse.
Stars opened it up too, as Harris Tchilimbou came close with a diving header inside the box following a cross from the right but Mogotsi outstretched legs prevented him.
With a limited amount of chances towards halftime, Moseamedi surged ahead three minutes to the break but went wide from close range after shielding off the challenge from a defender.
The Bethlehem side pressed for the lead at the break, but a looping header from Moseamedi resulted in a goal-line clearance.
Stars made a double substitution at the start of the second half, bringing on Eleazar Rodgers and William Twala.
The Ke Yona team were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty after Lwazi Mgwaba went down under a challenge only for the man in the middle to chastise the appeal.
Mgwaba then tried to put the visitors in front from a long cross from the left, but after sneaking at the back post, headed into the side-netting on 56 minutes.
Just with their first effort on goal in the second stanza, Ea Lla Kot raced in front with a inch-perfect header that cracked off the underside into the net from Rodgers on 75 minutes.
From then on, Stars controlled the tempo and pace of the game and despite creating a few openings, failed to penetrate the opposing goal.
As such, Luc Eymael saw out the encounter to lift the title to continue the elite league’s dominance in this initiative.