Stars strike late to draw with Arrows

Free State Stars struck a late equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw with Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership clash at Goble Park on Tuesday evening.

Ea Lla Koto bossed the game almost throughout, but needed an 87th minute header from Judas Moseamedi to finally break through the resilient Abafana Bes’thende defence.

Stars dominated the first half hour of the match and created a couple of good openings for the likes of Goodman Dlamini, Judas Moseamedi and Harris Tchilimbou, but they were unable to test Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede.

Against the run of play, Arrows claimed the lead in the 37th minute. An in-swinging free kick from the right flank by Nkanyiso Cele passed through a crowded penalty area untouched and just snuck inside the far post to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Cele nearly doubled the Durban side’s advantage just five minutes later. Another free kick, this time from a tighter angle, saw the midfielder whip a shot toward the top corner, but this time Badra Ali Sangare was aware of the danger and made a fine save.

Arrows had also suffered an injury blow around the half hour mark when veteran defender Siyanda Zwane was stretchered off, but overall the team in green and gold would have been delighted to be a goal up the halftime break.

Just as was the case in the first half, Ea Lla Koto enjoyed more of the ball and attacking impetus in the second stanza. Around the hour mark they nearly claimed an equaliser when Gumede misjudged a charge off his line to claim a long pass, with the ball drifting just wide.

On 73 minutes the hosts were desperately unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after Moseamedi was clearly the victim of a clumsy foul in the 18-yard area, and a short while later the former Cape Town City attacker had another glimpse of the net in a goalmouth melee.

Stars’ persistence and determination finally paid off in the 87th minute, with substitute Eleazar Rodgers providing a fine cross to pick out Moseamedi – the striker finally found the back of the net with a downward header to make it 1-1.

The teams will return to Absa Premiership action this coming Sunday, with Stars away to Black Leopards and Arrows visiting SuperSport United.

Free State Stars (0) 1 (Moseamedi 87’)

Golden Arrows (1) 1 (Cele 37’)

Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Tema, Phungwayo, Masina (Rodgers 72’), Makhaula, Gandze, Dlamini (Jappie 77’), Tchilimbou (Jantjie 62’), Moseamedi

Arrows: Gumede, Sibisi, Mngwengwe, Mzava, Zwane (R. Dlamini 30’), Molefe, Cele, Conco, Mutizwa, Sabelo (Bilankulu 65’), Lamola (Jooste 80’)