Stars, SuperSport Utd share spoils
Free State Stars and SuperSport United played to a 1-1 draw in an early kick-off Absa Premiership match at Charles Mopeli Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Sameehg Doutie opened the scoring for Matsatsantsa early in the game, but 10 minutes before the end of regulation time Paulus Masehe brought Ea Lla Koto level to ensure a share of the spoils.
SuperSport got off to a flying start and opened the scoring in the sixth minute through winger Doutie, who beat Kennedy Mweene with a well-struck shot from a tight angle.
Stars were dealt another early blow in the 11th minute when they had to replace talented left winger Luyolo Nomandela due to injury. Anver Esterhuizen came on in his place.
One would have expected the home side to push hard for the equaliser, but they were unable to get out of first gear and it was SuperSport who actually threatened to extend their advantage through efforts from Kermit Erasmus and Mark Haskins.
Doutie then had a great chance to net a second goal in the 39th minute, but he struck a shot over the bar from about 10 metres out. The half ended with SuperSport 1-0 up and Ea Lla Koto not having managed a single shot on target.
Stars brought on Zambian attacking midfielder Noah Chivuta in the 54th minute and a short while later he struck the home side’s first effort at goal, though his free kick was a tame effort easily saved by goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
On 59 minutes Mark Haskins tried his luck from just outside the penalty area, but his effort flashed just over the crossbar, while five minutes later Stars’ Dove Wome sent a long range effort wide of the mark.
Williams was forced into his first notable save in the 67th minute, hanging onto a header from striker Fikru Tefera that looked destined to hit the back of the net and bring the home side level.
Stars didn’t have to wait too long to gain parity. In the 80th minute, captain Paulus Masehe scored from just a few minutes out, providing a great finish from Thapelo Morweng’s cross from the left channel.
The match ended 1-1, a result which sees Stars remain in fourth place on the log on 32 points, while United shift up on place to eighth on 25 points.
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Masehe 80’)
SuperSport United (1) 1 (Doutie 6’)
Stars: Mweene, Wiltwer, Mpuqa, Sambu, Morweng, Coetzee (Chivuta 54’), Masehe, Venter, Nomandela (Esterhuizen 11’ [Mvula 75’]), Wome, Tefera
United: Williams, Moloi, Diouf, Gyimah, Mdledle, Doutie, Gabonamong, Haskins (September 83’), Erasmus (Cale 88’), Hartog, Grobler (Nxumalo 69’)