Tycoons undone by Free State

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While Miguel Gamondi’s side cast their minds ahead to facing the Egyptians on Friday in Cairo, for the Free State side it was a chance to ease the pain of their Nedbank Cup semifinal defeat to Mpumalanga Black Aces on Saturday.

And it is fair to say the visitors performed a smash-and-grab in the first half. Their only two efforts on goal in the opening 45 minutes both yielded results as Diyo Sibisi and Collins Chabalala found the back of the net.

After Edward Williams had missed an excellent chance for the home side, Sibisi broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark.

Ruben Cloete’s cross from the left was met by the head of the unmarked striker, who powered the ball past the helpless Wayne Sandilands.

And the second goal eight minutes later was a near carbon-copy. This time it was Siyabonga Mdluli who crossed from the left, and Chabalala made no mistake with his head to double the advantage.

It was tough on the home side, who had been the more attacking team in the opening period, but were taught a lesson in clinical finishing by their opponents.

The Tycoons made a double change just after halftime, bringing on Steve Lekoelea and Koketso Mmotong for Joseph Mkalipa and Solomon Mathe respectively, to try and add even more attacking verve to the side.

But it was the visitors who still looked the more likely and Cloete made the game safe just after 60 minutes, much to the dismay of the home faithful.

Simba Marumo was denied twice in the second half – once by a brilliant finger-tip save by Kennedy Mweene in the Free State goal – but he did pull a goal back with 10 minutes to go with a side-footed effort after collecting a pass from Mmotong.

If the home side had any thoughts of mounting an unlikely comeback, they were soon extinguished as the visitors sat back for the remainder of the game and managed to close Miguel Gamondi’s side out to claim all three points.

The result means the Free State side move up to fourth, ahead of Platinum Stars, who drop down to sixth.

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