Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Makhehleni Makhaula of Free State Stars players during the Absa Premiership match between Free State Stars and Orlando Pirates on 16 December 2017 at Goble Park Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Saturday Dec 16, 2017. 20:40
Orlando Pirates failed to wrap up 2017 with a win as they lost 2-1 to Free State Stars in the Absa Premiership on Saturday evening.
The Soweto giants scored through Thabiso Kutumela and they remain placed at number four on the log table with 20 points from 15 league games.
On the other hand, an own goal through defender Abbubaker Mobara and Sinethemba Jantjie's goal gave the hosts the deserved full three points.
The visitors pushed for an early goal in the second minute and Justin Shonga broke free and entered the box, but his shot went straight to to goalkeeper Ali Sangare.
Stars had a brilliant opportunity in the 20th minute when Siphelele Mthembu received a wonderful cross from the right flank, but goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was alert to collect.
After half an hour, Luvuyo Memela came close to beating the hosts’ keeper when he curled a free kick from a distance, but it went inches wide of the right post.
With the Soweto giants pushing for an opener, Sangare was the man standing between the goal as he produced a superb save to deny substitute Thabo Rakhale in the 36th minute.
Ea Lla Koto responded with four minutes to go to the interval when Goodman Dlamini unleashed a powerful shot only to be denied by a fine save from Mabokgwane.
The second half saw both sides pushing for goal, it was an end to end affair and it was the hosts who had chances in the final third.
However, Pirates succumbed to pressure and conceded an own goal when Mobara tried to make a clearance and scored on his own net to beat Mabokgwane in the 55th minute.
Coach Milutin Sredojevic’s side fought back and equalised through Thabiso Kutumela when he capitalised on a poor save by Sangare and pounced on a rebound to make it 1-1.
Towards the final 10 minutes, both sides created chances to grab a winner but it was coach Luc Eymael’s side who were better.
Jantjie found the back of the net with six minutes to go when Mabokgwane failed to collect a cross from the right flank and the winger capitalised on a error to pounce on the loose ball.
Stars continued to attack in the injury time, yet their decision making could not penetrate the Buccaneers’ defence.
Resulting from this win, Stars now sit at number two on the log table with 22 points from 15 games.
Free State Stars (0) 2 (Mobara 55’ og, Jantjie 84’)
Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Kutumela 60’)
Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Teyise, Keita, Makhaula, Potsane (Maphakisa 72’), Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie, Dlamini (Venter 63’), Mthembu (Anas 83’)
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Nyauza (Rakhale 34’), Chabalala, Shitolo, Matlaba, Mobara, Nyatama, Kutumela, Makola, Memela (Norodien 77’), Shonga (Gabuza 62’)