Arrows sink Stars to close in on top eight spot

Golden Arrows striker Knox Mutizwa scored a brace in a 2-1 Absa Premiership win over Free State Stars at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Sunday afternoon.

The Zimbabwean forward scored twice within eight first-half minutes to lead Arrows up to ninth place on the log standings and a point outside the top eight with two games remaining.

Stars fall down to 13th - two points above the drop zone - following the defeat with fellow relegation candidates Baroka having beaten AmaZulu 1-0 in Polokwane at the same time.

The first chance of the match fell to the visitors in the 12th minute. Eleazar Rodgers burst in behind the Arrows defence only to be thwarted by Maximilian Mbaeva who raced off his line to deny the lanky forward.

Ea Lla Koto were made to rue the miss as Mutizwa opened the scoring after he was hauled down by Samuel Mbambo inside the penalty area. The striker duly dusted himself off and converted from the spot.

Mutizwa completed his brace in the 25th minute with a banging free-kick that left Mbambo rooted to his spot.

Stars replied with a stunning free-kick goal of their own as Sibusiso Hlubi struck home past Mbaeva in the 33rd minute to make it a one goal game heading into the interval.

Rodgers missed another glaring chance for the visitors in the 55th minute as Stars pressed forward in search of the equaliser. With only the goalkeeper to beat, he somehow directed his attempt wide when it looked easier to score.

Stars continued to turn the screw in the closing stages of the clash, but failed to find the goal they yearned for as Abafana Bes’thende stretched their unbeaten streak in the league to five matches.

Golden Arrows (2) 2 (Mutizwa 18' 26')

Free State Stats (1) 1 (Hlubi 33')

Arrows: Mbaeva; Sibisi, Bilankulu, Mathiane, Motebejane, Matloga (Sibeko 82'), Venter, Phiri, Sibiya (Sabelo 60'), Mathenjwa (Lamola 89'), Mutizwa.

Stars: Mbambo; Makhaula, Mathumo, Mahamutsa, Jappie, Khabane (Mobbie 64'), Masehe, Tchilimbou, Mokhuoane (Masina 71'), Hlubi (Dlamini 84'), Rodgers.