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Football | Absa Premiership

Steve Komphela © Gallo Images

Stars set to bounce back v SuperSport

Free State Stars will look to bounce back from a disappointing weekend when they host former three time league champions SuperSport United in an Absa Premiership match on Tuesday evening at the Charles Mopeli Stadium, kick-off at 6pm.

Stars will be disappointed with their weekend loss away to Lamontville Golden Arrows where they squandered an opportunity to close the gap between them and the three teams above them.

Steve Komphela’s men who have been regular top half occupants in recent seasons are now pushing the top teams, but their last two games have been less than satisfactory for the men from the Free State.

Stars are currently placed in fourth spot on the Absa Premiership standings with 31 points after 20 matches played.

Ea Lla Koto should also bear in mind that Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic are breathing down their necks as they are a further three points behind.

After winning their first two games of 2013, Stars have lost their last two matches which have been away from home. They have a decent home record, though, this season with five wins, four draws and just one defeat from 10 matches

Stars coach Komphela has put goal scoring on high priority insisting that matches are won by scoring goals, something which did not transpire in their last match.

“A game is won by putting the ball in the back of the net and on the day we did everything right but score,” explained Komphela after their loss to Arrows.

“We just need to move forward and work on our finishing ability and I must admit we created numerous chances but we just did not hit the target.”

The former Bafana Bafana captain and coach cited that they have put the Arrows loss behind their backs and they are looking forward to the next match against United on Tuesday evening.

“The games are coming in thick and fast and we just need to soldier on and keep working hard and without hard work there is no success,” Steve concluded

United will head into this match with loads of confidence after they qualified for the first round of the 2013 CAF Confederation Cup as they drew 3-3 with Democratic Republic of Congo side Don Bosco in the second leg of the tie to advance 4-3 on aggregate.

They were inactive in the league this past weekend due to continental football but the Pretoria outfit have been unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions.

Matsatsantsa are placed ninth on the Absa Premiership log with 24 points from 19 matches. They come into the game on the back of a rare league win, having beaten University of Pretoria 1-0 at home in their last top flight outing. It was just their fourth win of the 2012/13 season.

United midfielder George Maluleka has acknowledged that his team have struggled this season in the league, but is confident that a victory at Stars, a team that is notoriously tough on home soil, will give their season a major boost.

“Stars are a very good team and they have improved a lot over the years. In the first round we played them to a goalless draw and in that match they were very tough to break down,” the former Ajax Cape Town midfield maestro said.

“They have a coach that is tactically astute and they are a well drilled machine. We have to win this match to break into the top eight and if we look at the fixture list we have Mamelodi Sundowns coming up this weekend in the Tshwane derby.

“If we win the Stars match then we can head into the derby with confidence because both Tshwane teams have not been doing well this season and we are in the same place on the standings, so the next two matches might give us a chance to pull away from some teams.”


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