Free State Stars rally to condemn Maritzburg to fourth straight defeat

Free State Stars beat Maritzburg United 2-1 in an Absa Premiership basement battle at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday evening.

The visitors came from a goal down to beat the Team of Choice, with strikes from Relebogile Mokhuoane and Sinethemba Jantjie leading Ea Lla Koto to a first away win of the season.

Victory moves Stars up to 13th place on the log standings, five points clear of bottom-placed Maritzburg, who remain winless at home this season.

Deolin Mekoa scored the game's opener, but his goal couldn't save the KZN club from suffering a fourth straight defeat.

The hosts created the first chance of the match through Keletso Makgalwa, who curled his deflected effort inches wide of goal in the 16th minute.

Stars’ first notable chance came in the 32nd minute through Yussuf Jappie, who was only denied a goal by Brian Onyango as he made a heroic block on the line.

Mekoa duly opened the scoring for the hosts on the cusp of halftime. The Maritzburg winger scored with a neat finish to give the hosts a slight advantage at the break.

Stars levelled matters in the 72nd minute through Mokhuoane, whose neat back heel left Richard Ofori with no chance.

Bidvest Wits-bound Jantjie completed the turnaround in the 81st minute. The attacker, who rose off the bench just after the hour mark, struck home a sweet half volley from the edge of the area to seal all three points for the visitors.

Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Mekoa 45+7’)

Free State Stars (0) 2 (Mokhuoane 72’, Jantjie 81’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Farmer (Figuareido 87’), Onyango, Xulu, Sanoka, Mekoa, Makgalwa, Matsi, Kunene (Shandu 65’), Atouba (Ndlovu 82’), Fileccia

Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Makhaula (Jantjie 63’), Mokhuoane, Masehe (Maruping 77’), Jappie, Tchilimbou (Khabane 90+3’), Dlamini