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FREE STATE STARS 0
1 GOLDEN ARROWS
Competition: MTN 8
Date: 05 August 2009
Venue: Charles Mopeli Stadium
Golden Arrows booked their place in the MTN8 semifinals with a 1-0 win over Free State Stars at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The first ten minutes went by with very little goalmouth action as both teams felt each other out in the early stages. Free State Stars settled a bit more as the game progressed and set the pace in what was the first competitive encounter of the season for the two clubs in action.
The next twenty minutes went buy in similar fashion and it was clearly evident that this was the first game of the season for both teams as they struggled to piece together any quality football.
It took until the 34th minute of the game for Stars to threaten the Arrows goal and Sangweni did well to clear the ball under pressure from the Stars forwards after Da Rocha’s weak punch.
Arrows took the lead in the 37th minute when Stars’ defence failed to deal with a free-kick floated towards the far post. Everyone missed the ball except Musa Bilankulu, who controlled well before finishing neatly to give Arrows the lead. Just minutes later Arrows came close to extending their lead when Henyekane shot straight at Mweene but he made a terrible handling error and almost pushed the ball into his own net.
The goal sprang both squads into action as the quality and intensity picked up towards the end of the first half.
In the second half it was once again Stars that settle quickest as they went in search of an equaliser, although Arrows looked very dangerous on the break and Henyekane in particular was a constant threat.
On the hour mark Ngcobo had great chance to level matters for Stars but took too long to get his shot off and was blocked without forcing a save from Da Rocha. Minutes later Stars threaten again but this time Sangweni, who was brilliant at the back for Arrows, thwarted the attack.
Stars continued to push forward in search of the elusive equaliser but after a goalmouth scramble Kingston Nkhatha failed to hit the target when he should have done better.
The Stars faithful got behind their team in the closing stages at the Charles Mopeli Stadium and they continued to apply pressure on the Arrows goal but Da Rocha, who looked shaky at stages, did well to keep them at bay.
Arrows almost extended their lead in injury time but the ball cannoned back off the crossbar after with Mweene well beaten.
Arrows sealed the win and join Kaizer Chiefs, Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu in the MTN8 semifinals.
FS Stars: Kennedy Mweene, Sipho Nkosi, Jonathan Mensah, Martin Carelse, Ruben Cloete, Matome Madimabe (Thamane Motaung 62nd), Duncan Lechesa, Paulos Masehe (Mpho Makola 78th), Siyabonga Mdluli (Eder Richartz 62nd), Sthembiso Ngcobo, Kingston Nkhatha
Coach: Themba Sithole
Arrows: Helton Da Rocha, Siyanda Zwane, Joseph Musonda, Siyabonga Sangweni, Mzivukile Tom, Nhlanhla Zothwane, Musa Bilankulu, Thanduyise Khuboni, Thokozani, Mshengu (Thamsanqa Gabuza 68th) (Tshepo Mashego 90th), Richard Henyekane, Francis Kombe (Njabulo Manqana 46th)
Coach: Manqoba Mngqithi
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