Stars, Tuks play to a 1-1 draw

A second half goal by University of Pretoria’s Lennox Bacela denied Free State Stars the three points when they played to a 1-1 draw during their Absa Premiership encounter at Goble Park Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The visitors dictated terms in the opening stages of the encounter and Mrisho Ngassa unleashed a shot after seven minutes but it went wide of Washington Arubi’s goals.

In the 10th minute, Tebogo Monyai nearly bagged an opener as he connected with the ball from the left but the veteran’s attempt was not strong enough to trouble goalkeeper Daouda Diakite.

In an aim to put the hosts ahead, Moeketsi Sekola tried his luck from the d-line but his well taken shot went wide over the woodwork and after 20 minutes in the match, an in swinger from a corner by Mpho Maruping was cleared on the line by Ea Lla Koto’s Themba Shabalala.

In the 36th minute, Danny Venter managed to break the deadlocked and scored his third goal in the league, his brilliant first touch allowed him to take a wonderful left footed shot beating Arubi on the far corner.

Ernst Midendorp’s men went to the tunnel enjoying the slender lead and it was Arubi who was called to action when he saved Ngassa’s attempt two minutes into the second half.

In the 55th minute, Andrea Fileccia wasted a beautiful chance to double their lead in the box as he blasted his shot over Arubi’s goals, and two minutes later Bacela converted a great cross from substitute Getaneh Kebede down the left flank. The ex-Orlando Pirates man outjumped Justice Chabalala and scored with a fine header.

Masehe rose above the rest and failed to hit the target in the 64th minute and in their response, Tuks saw their goal disallowed, although television replays showed the ball to have crossed the goal line before Diakite made a save.

With less than 15 minutes remaining on the clock, the hosts lacked the hunger they displayed in the opening half and winger Bokang Thlone nearly claimed the lead for the hosts but saw his shot hit the side of the net in the 79th minute.

As the dying minutes of the match failed to produce goals, both sides settled for the point and the hosts now occupy the 10th spot with 12 points from 10 matches while Sammy Troughton’s men are placed at the 15th spot with six points.

Free State Stars (1) 1 (Venter 36’)

University of Pretoria (0) 1 (Bacela 57’)

Stars: Diakite, Masehe, Mashego, Chabalala, Shabalala, Thebakang (Thlone 46’), Ngassa, Sekola, Fileccia (Thetani 70’), Vilakazi, Venter (Japhta 82’)

University of Pretoria:Arubi, Mwedihanga, Monyai, Jaure, Sibande, Ntombayithethi (Mosadi 46’), Mathosi (Kebede 46’), Zwane, Maruping, Mnyamane, Bacela (Nkoana 75’)