MATCH CENTRE

SAT 01 APRIL 2017, 18:00, JAMES MOTLATSI STADIUM

3
VS
2

Free State Stars down Pirates in five-goal thriller

by Graeme Jackson

Sat April 01, 20:13

Free State Stars gave their Absa Premiership survival hopes a major boost as they defeated Orlando Pirates 3-2 at the James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday evening.

The fast-starting Ea Lla Koto, who scored their goals inside the opening half hour, move out of the relegation zone into 13th place on 22 points, while the Buccaneers are just one point and two positions better off after a 12th successive match without a win in the league.

Stars claimed the lead with a brilliantly-taken goal as early as the fourth minute: Nhlanhla Vilakazi picked out a great pass for Moeketsi Sekola, who controlled the long ball beautifully before firing past Benson Mhlongo to make it 1-0.

Nine minutes later former Orlando Pirates player Paulus Masehe made it 2-0. The veteran Ea Lla Koto skipper scored with a glancing header from Sinethemba Jantjie’s free kick delivery to put the hosts in complete control.

Stars twice claim close to claiming a third goal within the opening 20 minutes, as Mohammed Anas poked a shot wide when he had only Mhlongo to beat, while Jantjie very nearly scored a brilliant solo goal which bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Pirates got one back midway through the first half: Thembinkosi Lorch’s shot was deflected off a defender, cleared off the line by Rooi Mahamutsa, only for the ball to rebound again off the back of goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni and cross the line for an own goal.

But just when Bucs thought they were back in the game, Anas scored a magnificent goal with a shot from outside the box which nestled in the top corner - 3-1 to Ea Lla Koto inside 29 minutes.

Pirates again fought back in the dying stages of the first half to make it 3-2: Oupa Manyisa was brought down in the box by Makhehlene Makhaula and Tendai Ndoro converted from the spot for his first goal in 2017.

The second half lacked the fluency and goal-mouth action of the first, but Stars should have extended their lead 20 minutes after the restart when they sprung the offside trap to hand Anas a tap-in from just a few yards out, but Mhlongo somehow smothered the ball with a brilliant low save.

Ea Lla Koto soon switched their approach to a more defensive mindset, with the introduction of Angelo Kerspuy in place of Anas with 12 minutes of regulation time remaining demonstrating a determination to hang onto their lead.

Free State Stars (3) 3 (Sekola 4’, Masehe 13’, Anas 29’)
Orlando Pirates (2) 2 (Ngobeni og 24’, Ndoro 45+4’ pen)

Stars: Ngobeni, Teyise, Masehe, Mahamutsa, Mbhele, Jantjie, Makhaula (Mashego 73’), Vilakazi, Dlamini (Maphakisa 85’), Sekola, Anas (Kerspuy 78’)

Pirates: Mhlongo, Nyauza, Jele, Gcaba, Matlaba, Lorch, Mobara (Sarr 74’), Manyisa, Wome (Gabuza 73’), Motupa (Memela 46’), Ndoro

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
LEAGUE MATCH JAMES MOTLATSI STADIUM
FREE STATE STARS GOALS ORLANDO PIRATES GOALS
5. Paulus Masehe (13') 32. Thela Ngobeni (24') (OG)
38. Mohammed Anas (29') 7. Tendai Ndoro (45 + 4')
23. Moeketsi Sekola (4')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
4 1
FREE STATE STARS STARTING LINEUP ORLANDO PIRATES STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
24'
90 + 3'
32
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
80'
28
Defender
74'
45
Defender
25
Defender
2
Defender
90 + 6'
6
Defender
27'
4
Midfielder
85'
26
34
Midfielder
45 + 3'
73'
4
Defender
8
Midfielder
4'
23
Midfielder
73'
35
Midfielder
50
Midfielder
46'
38
Midfielder
13'
5
Midfielder
20
Midfielder
22
Midfielder
29
Forward/Striker
29'
78'
38
Forward/Striker
45 + 4'
7
SUBSTITUTIONS
Katlego Mashego (FST)
Midfielder
73'
20
Luvoyo Memela
Midfielder
46'
11
Angelo Kerspuy
Midfielder
78'
15
Thamsanqa Gabuza
Forward/Striker
73'
31
Thabo Maphakisa
Midfielder
85'
37
Issa Sarr
Midfielder
74'
18
CARDS
Makhehlene Makhaula
Midfielder
45 + 3'
4
Happy Jele
Defender
27'
4
Rooi Mahamutsa
Defender
80'
28
Thela Ngobeni
Goalkeeper
90 + 3'
32
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
COMMENTS
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