Free State, Tycoons in stalemate

A goalless draw sees both sides pick up a point which was a fair result for a long and tedious game.

Joseph Mkalipa grabbed the first chance of the game in the sixth minute for Platinum Stars when he fired off a quick-snap shot from 20 yards out. He stormed down the left flank in an impressive run before cutting back inside to shoot, but unfortunately his shot skimmed past the wrong side of the up-right.

Three minutes later and the Lions of the North were on the attack again through Stanley Kgatla who found the ball at his feet, only 12 yards out, after a nice passing movement. Kgatla let fly with his right boot but his shot went woefully wide as he hung his head in shame.

Free State's first decent chance came in the ninth minute from a Duncan Lechesa in-swinging corner kick. Ruben Cloete did well to rise above the Platinum Stars defence to header the ball wide from just a couple of yards out.

Kennedy Mwene was forced into the first save of the match in the 18th minute when Kgatla fired in a ferocious shot from 20 yards out that must have stung the fingers of the keeper who did well to hold on to it.

Tapiwa Kapini's first save came in the 26th minute and it was a brilliant one at that; Thamane Motaung let fly with a vicious shot form just outside the box and Kapini did magnificently diving to his right to tip the ball round the post for a corner.

Simba Marumo should have opened the scoring for the Lions when some more good passing found him with the ball unmarked inside the box, but his dismal attempt on goal left the fans groaning.

The last chance of a boring first half fell to Hleza Mofedi of Free State in injury time when he dribbled a couple of layers before shooting from 25 yards out, but once again Ea Lla Koto failed to hit the target.

The second half started much the same as the first ended. The two teams seemed to have met a stale-mate in the middle of the park and both struggled to break down their opposing defence as they continued to shoot from long range.

Platinum Stars did have the majority of the chances in the second half although Free State controlled the possession. The Lions of the North's first chance in the second 45 came only six minutes after the break. Edward Williams let fly with a shot that was goal-ward bound had it not have been for Mofedi throwing his body in the way, blocking the shot.

Simba Marumo came closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the up-right in the 75th minute. After an impressive run down the left flank Marumo cut inside and fired from 20 yards out with his right foot. He struck the ball beautifully and all the keeper could do was watch the ball sail past him, but fortunately for Mweene the ball only struck the post.

The two teams seemed content with the draw and neither went for the killer blow. It was a superb defence performance by both sides but both lacked the killer instinct upfront. The game ended 0-0 and Free State Stars remain at the bottom of the Absa Premiership log along with Bay United and Bloemfontein Celtic.