Stars hand Arrows a beating

Ea Lla Koto surged into a three-goal lead at Goble Park thanks to strikes from Kennedy Mweene, Mzikayise Mashaba and Katlego Mashego – it is the first time this season they have managed more than one goal in a match.

Siyabonga Nkosi handed Abafana Bes’thende a lifeline with a clever free-kick, but it proved a mere consolation as the home side held out in the last 20 minutes to secure the three points.

The goalkeepers dominated the first half, as Arrows’ Helton da Rocha and Mweene pulled off several excellent saves. It seemed as if the game would be goalless at the break, but a hand-ball in injury-time from Musa Bilankulu gave the hosts a penalty – Mweene converted the spot-kick.

Within 12 minutes of the second half, Stars had extended their lead to 3-0 thanks to goals from midfielders Mashaba and Mashego in the 49th and 57th minutes respectively. Arrows’ defence struggled to deal with the home side’s ability to transition from defence to attack at impressive speed.

But the Durban team did give themselves some hope of a comeback when Nkosi scored direct from a free-kick in the 69th minute, craftily placing his shot into the back of the net while Mweene was trying to organise his defensive wall. Stars protested the goal but they were simply caught out by Nkosi’s quick thinking.

Arrows came close to further reducing the deficit with a header from Thamsanqa Gabuza that hit the crossbar and a long-range effort from Philani Shange that was well saved by Mweene, but Stars were able to hold out for a 3-1 win.