George Lebese of Kaizer Chiefs is challenged by Sifiso Mbhele of Free State Stars during the 2017 Maize Cup match between Free State Stars and Kaizer Chiefs on the 15 July 2017 at James Motlatsi Stadium, Orkney © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
Saturday Jul 15, 2017. 18:04
Despite having a good game, Free State Stars failed to lift the 2017 Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup trophy when they lost 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in the final on Saturday afternoon at the James Motlatsi Stadium.
A late strike by George Lebese ensured Amakhosi lifted the trophy as they boosted their morale ahead of the Carling Champion Cup against Orlando pirates on July 29.
Although there were no clear cut chances in the first 10 minutes, but it was Danny Venter who took his trademark left-footed shots which failed to trouble goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo in the 16th minute.
The 25th minute saw David Vilakazi's charges putting Chiefs under pressure and skipper Paulus Masehe took a long range shot from outside the box, but it went over the cross bar.
It was 0-0 at half time.
Stars' striker Mohammed Anas came close in the 56th minute as he was given space by the Chiefs defence, yet his effort was parried away by Khuzwayo for a corner.
Just after the hour mark, Steve Komphela's troops pushed forward with flair, but the defence manned by Rooi Mahamutsa took no prisoners.
In the last 12 minutes, Amakhosi received a set piece in a good area and Lebese curled it in with the rebound falling for Daniel Cardoso whose effort from a volley was deflected for a corner.
However with seven minutes to go, an unmarked Lebese managed to calmly finish on the far left from a dangerous cross, 1-0.
Despite their resilience to find an equaliser, Stars were not clinical in the final third and failed to break down the Amakhosi defence as Chiefs claimed the trophy.
Free State Stars: (0)
Kaizer Chiefs: (0) 1 (Lebese 83')
Free State Stars: Kwizera, Mbhele, Ndlovu, Mahamutsa, Khama (Okumu 54'), Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie (Maphakisa 70'), Venter, Makhaula (Mothusi 76'), Anas (Manqele 71')
Kaizer Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Moleko, Cardoso, Gordinho, Zulu, Buchanan (Malope 60'), Meyiwa, Molangoane, Twala (Ngezana 90'), Lebese, Shopane (Katsvairo 69')
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