Stars hold AmaTuks to a draw

University of Pretoria were held to a 1-1 draw by Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership encounter at Tuks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Despite dominating proceedings on the day, the University side were unable to convert chances into goals. The draw takes AmaTuks’ unbeaten run in the league to seven matches.

Anver Esterhuizen first half header was cancelled out by a low drive from AmaTuks striker Mame Niang 14 minutes after the break.

Both sides secured 1-1 draws in their last encounter against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates respectively.

The home side started of positively as they went on search of gaining an early advantage.

Bongani Zungu and Dipsy Selolwane were a constant threat throughout the early exchanges.

The young midfielder especially troubled the Free State Stars defence down the right flank and it was he who created the first opportunity of the match in the second minute.

Zungu played two one-twos before squaring a ball into the area, Aubrey Ngoma seemed to be halted illegally from behind in pursuit of the ball but the referee had none of it.

Dipsy Selolwane extracted a wonderful save from Kennedy Mweene in the sixth minute of the match.

The AmaTuks captain pulled the trigger from just outside the area, the midfielder was half way through his celebration when the diving Zambian flung himself through the air to somehow deny the midfielder.

Despite AmaTuks dominating the early exchanges, it was Ea Lla Koto who opened the scoring completely against the run of play just before the half hour mark.

Anvar Esterhuizen directed a powerful header past a helpless Washington Arubi from a pinpoint Mbuhuyiselo Sambu cross to hand the away side the lead with their first attempt on goal.

The University had two opportunities to draw level before the break. First Mame Niang sent a towering header inches wide of goal in the 38th minute, before Aubrey Ngoma powered his left footed effort from inside the area straight at Mweene two minutes later.

Stars went into the break a goal to the good despite AmaTuks controlling proceedings out on the pitch.

AmaTuks started the second half as they did the first, pushing forward in search of the equaliser.

Ngoma had a chance to level matters early on, Arubi’s long ball split the Free State Stars defence but the midfielder was unable to control the ball with only the goalkeeper to beat and as a result Mweene gathered easily.

Mame Niang equalised for the home side just before the hour mark. The lanky striker beat the Ea Lla Koto offside trap before driving a potent strike past Mweene. The goal was the Senegalese’s eighth of the season.

Second half substitute Thokozani Sekotlong nearly grabbed the headlines in the 80th minute of the match. The striker’s dipping effort from outside the area went just over the Ea Lla Koto captain’s crossbar.

Both sides went in search of the killer blow in the last 10 minutes of the match but both sides defence held firm.

The reverse fixture between the sides ended in a goalless draw at the Charles Mopeli Stadium in November last year.

The draw means that Stars moved up into sixth position on the log, while AmaTuks keep their position in eighth spot.

AmaTuks (0) 1 (Niang 59’)

Free State Stars (1) 1 (Esterhuizen 29’)


AmaTuks: Arubi, Ngubane, Mkhwanazi, Shoyisa, Moussono-Moussono, Ketjijere, Selolwane, Mutizwa (Sekotlong 79’), Ngoma (Shitembi 79’), Zungu (Lubelo 83’), Niang

Free State Stars: Mweene, Sambu, Ouro-Akoriko, Wiltwer (Wome 56’), Gege, Mpuqa, Thebakang, Nomandela, Esterhuizen (Venter 63’), Masehe, Mvula (Mkhatshwa 76’)