Free State Stars beat high-flying Santos

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Both teams started well and attacked each other positively. Stars almost stole the lead early on when Santos keeper Wayne Roberts fumbled a simple cross, necessitating Sebastien Bax to step in and clear the ball off the line.

In the 21st minute Santos had a chance to take the lead, when Eleazar Rodgers’ headed just over the bar from an Erwin Isaacs' cross.

But it was the home team who were rewarded in the 21st minute when Jimmy Kauleza broke the deadlock against the run of play. A Sthembiso Ngcobo shot was deflected fortuitously for the ex-Pirates man, who scored from close range on the second attempt, after Rodgers blocked his initial shot.

Santos could have made in 1-1 in the 31st minute when Thomrick October played a good cross in to Rodgers, but the tall striker’s header went off target.

Stars nearly made it 2-0 just before half-time, when Stars’ Thulasizwe Mbuyane and Kauleza had two shots cleared off the goal-line in quick succession.

In the 53rd minute the visitors had another opportunity to level matters, but this time Rodgers’ header was cleared off the line by Kampamba Chintu.

In the 66th, October’s long-range drive from outside the box was parried for a corner by Stars’ keeper Kennedy Mweene.

Stars’ midfielder Matome Madimabe wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute, when his shot went straight to Roberts.

All in all, Stars deserved the win, as they played with determination and were unlucky to see a number of chances foiled. They are still the only team to have beaten Santos this year, this win adding to their 4-1 League victory against the then-struggling Cape side in February.

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