Stars ease relegation concerns

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bethlehem-based side as Camaldine Abraw and Moeketsi Sekola found the net to hand Ea Lla Koto three points to ease their relegation woes.

Despite not having their coach Kinnah Phiri on the bench following a suspenion, the hosts meant business as early as the 11th minute when a cross from the right by Danny Venter found Camaldine Abraw alone in the box, his powerful header beating Mbongeni Mzimela to hand the hosts the lead.

The visitors moved forward and in the 31st minute Siyabulela Shai’s effort went over the bar, not troubling Ea Lla Koto’s keeper after a string of good passes in midfield between him and William Twala .

It was 1-0 lead to the hosts at half-time, and the second stanza got underway with the visitors looking for an equaliser but it was Namibian attacker Hendrik Somaeb who unleashed a powerful thunderbolt after a great pass from the right but it went wide.

Dauda Diakite was called into action when he saved a shot from Siyabonga Zulu and seconds later, the Chilli Boys were dealt a huge blow when Thamsanqa Sangweni was shown his marching orders for a studs-up challenge on Abraw.

Despite the disadvantage of being one man down, the visitors went forward and Edward Manqele nearly found the back of the net in the 61st minute when his shot sailed wide.

Towards the 70th minute the match gained momentum as Themba Shabalala beat three United defenders but delayed taking a shot, allowing James Okwuosa to make an interception.

Seconds later Manqele again pounced but his effort missed the target from a clinical cross by Eric Chipeta.

Against the run of play, Sekola made it two in the 78th minute after outpacing United’s defence and beat the oncoming Mbongeni Mzimela to take his tally to 12 for the season alongside Bloemfontein Celtic’s Lerato Lamola.

In the dying minutes of the game the hosts ensured they played it easy and protected their lead as the Chilli Boys ran out of steam going forward.

The win leaves Phiri’s men placed at position nine with 34 points while Mich D’Avray’s charges go down to position 14 with 29 points, with two games to go for both sides.