Stars fight back to deny Highlands

Substitute Armand Ella scored in the dying minutes for Free State Stars to earn them a 2-2 draw against Highlands Park in an Absa Premiership match at the Makhulong stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It was the perfect start for the home team with Edwin Sitayitayi clinically turning home a pass from Franklin Cale in the sixth minute of the match, 1-0.

Free State suffered a further set-back in the tenth minute when Sifiso Mbhele had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Ella.

Highlands Park controlled the remainder of the half, but despite their dominance they could not penetrated the Ela Lla Koto’s defence and entered the half time break leading by a goal.

The home side continued to push forward in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts on the hour with their second goal when Thapelo Mathibe headed home a Brandon Theron corner-kick.

Stars were not going to go down without a fight and pulled a goal back a minute later when Danny Venter played Thokozani Sekotlong into space and coolly slotted home to make it 2-1.

The away team persisted with their attack and reaped the rewards in the 90th minute when Ella found the back of a net with superb free-kick from just outside the box, 2-2.

The result sees Free State still without a win in the league and placed 14th on the table with four points from seven games while Highlands Park are 13th with five games from six matches.

Highlands Park (1) 2 (Sitayitayi 6’, Mathibe 60’)
Free State Stars (0) 2 (Sekotlong 61’, Ella 90’)

Highlands: Tapuwa Kapini, Jermaine Christian, Junior Sibande, Eddie Zamuxolo Ngalo, Franklin Cale, Thanduyise Khuboni, Kgomotso Koena (Ryan Rae 86’), Mothobi Mvala , Brandon Theron, Collins Mbesuma (Thapelo Mathibe 56’), Edwin Sitayitayi (Charlton Mashumba 51’)

Stars: Davis Nkausu, Thela Ngobeni, Sifiso Mbhele (Armand Ella 10’), Thokozani Sekotlong, David Booysen (Mbuyiselo Thethani 70’), Nyiko Mobbie (Hamis Kizza 81’), Moeketsi Sekola, Paulus Masehe, Goodman Dlamini, Katlego Mashego, Danny Venter.