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Football | Absa Premiership

Moeketsi Mvula © Gallo Images

Stars shine against Leopards



A 90th minute winner by substitute Thapelo Mkhatshwa gave Free State Stars the full points in a 2-1 Absa Premiership away win against Black Leopards.

Another substitute, Thabo Mongalo, had opened the scoring for Black Leopards before his goal was cancelled out by an own goal from Vincent Xakane.

Mkhatshwa’s winner had class written all over it. Stars attacked down the right wing and when the ball was pulled back behind the Leopards defenders, there was nothing they could to stop Mkhatshwa who simply placed his shot past the goalkeeper.

The match started at a very slow pace with neither team really taking a hold of the game and no goal scoring chances were created inside the opening fifteen minutes.

In the 19th minute Dove Wome let rip with a low drive from quite a way outside the danger area, but Ayanda Mtshali did well to save low to his right.

Then Luyolo Nomandela swung in a cross, which Mtshali almost palmed into his own net but the goalkeeper recovered just in time to save himself from embarrassment

In the 24th minute Togolese international Sadate Ouro-Akoriko wrapped his foot around a volley, which was travelling at pace and took a deflection and went out for a corner.

35 minutes in, Mtshali came out to clear a curling ball into the danger area and misses the ball totally. But fortunately for him, the loose ball did not find its way to goal.

Three minutes later Wome got power behind another shot from distance, which Mtshali did well to save low to his left.

On the stroke of halftime Angelo Kerspuy drove in a fantastic shot, which just flew wide of the post.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Leopards took the lead through Thabo Mongalo, the man who replaced the injured Rodney Ragamalela in the first half.

Mongalo got onto the end of a great through pass by Michael Nkambule, took his time to ride a tackle before picking his spot and driving home a shot into the far corner of goal.

After the goal, the home side began to exert more pressure on Stars and it looked as though Leopards were going to take the full points.

But in the 73rd minute they conceded an equaliser when a wayward shot by Anver Esterhuizen deflected off Vincent Xakaane’s leg and looped high and over Mtshali to register a rather fortunate own goal.

In the 90th minute substitute Thapelo Mkhatshwa pounced to secure the three points for the visiting side.

Black Leopards (0) 1 (Mongalo 57’)

Free State Stars (0) 2 (Xakane og 73’ Mkhatshwa 90’)

Teams:

Black Leopards: Mtshali; Dzaga, Khoza, Muganga, Xakane; Maake, Nkambule (Manaka 59’), Sithole, Sibeko, Mabunda (Monama 77’); Ramagalela (Mongalo 26’)

Free State Stars: Mweene (Motsoeneng 72’); Mkwanazi, Cardoso, Ouro-Akoriko, Wiltwer; Nomandela, Esterhuizen, Kerspuy (Coetzee 70’), Masehe, Wome; Mvula (Mkhatshwa 62’)

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