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Ramoraswi (Motaung 69’)
Lechesa (Mabaso 57’)
Ngcobo (Mofokeng 88’)
FREE STATE STARS 3
1 GOLDEN ARROWS
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Sunday, 16 September 2009
Venue: Goble Park
Free State Stars’ claimed their first win of the 2009/10 Absa Premiership season, inflicting a 3-1 loss on Golden Arrows at the Goble Park Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
It is also some sweet revenge for Ea Lla Koto, who were eliminated from the MTN8 cup at the quarterfinal stage by Arrows early last month.
It is Abafana Bes’thende’s first defeat of the season and a blow to their hopes of keep up with the early pacesetters at the top of the log.
Both teams looked prepared to throw numbers forward from the outset and Stars’ Aleni Lebyane tested goalkeeper Helton Da Rocha as early as the very first minute with a shot from just inside the penalty area.
Three minutes later midfielder Mpho Makola stung the Brazilian’s palms with a fierce free kick from 25 yards out.
Arrows launched their first attack on seven minutes, with Joseph Musonda swinging in a good cross from the right that found the head of Thamsanqa Gabuza, only for the young striker to put his effort wide of goal.
Ten minutes later Gabuza was on target with a mid-range shot but Kennedy Mweene was on hand to make a good save.
Midway through the half it seemed that Arrows had really begun to take control of the match, with Philani Shange and Musonda putting in decent efforts on goal that had the home side’s defence in a bit of bother.
However, Ea Lla Koto’s Makgatho Ramoraswi came close to opening the scoring on 29 minutes with a 20 yard drive that Da Rocha had to tip round his post, and the youngster put another effort wide of goal two minutes later.
On 40 minutes, new Bafana Bafana call-up Ruben Cloete floated in an inviting cross from the left flank that handed Sthembiso Ngcobo the chance to out his team ahead, but the lanky forward contrived to shoot wide of goal from close range.
With both set of goal posts coming under fire so often it seemed merely a matter of time before someone broke the deadlock. Yet the match reached its halfway point with the score line still blank.
But within six minutes of the restart the ball had hit the back of the net twice. Stars took the lead on 48 minutes when Lebyane got on the end of Makola’s pass and scored from close range.
Three minutes later they made it 2-0 when Ramoraswi scored a terrific long range goal that gave Da Rocha no chance.
And Stars, having taken definitive control of the match, were in no mood for taking their foot off the pedal. Da Rocha was forced into making an excellent save from Ngcobo just a minute after the hosts’ second goal and Lebyane was only denied by the woodwork a short while later.
Arrows responded by throwing on Richard Henyekane and the striker made an almost immediate impact, scoring from just inside the penalty area on 59 minutes to reduce the deficit to one goal.
A short while later Musonda almost brought the visitors level with a shot direct from a free kick that Mweene was forced to tip away to safety, and Henyekane hit the post from 12 yards out with just under 20 minutes to play.
Arrows looked like coming back into the match but Stars ensured they would pick up all three points when substitute Thamane Motaung got on the end of a good pass from Makola and beat Da Rocha with a low shot to make it 3-1.
Free State Stars (0) 3 (Lebyane 48’, Ramoraswi 51’, Motaung 80’)
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (R. Henyekane 59’)
Stars: (4-4-2) Mweene; Costa Marinho, Carelse, Ramoraswi (Motaung 69’), Cloete; Makola, Lechesa (Mabaso 57’), Masehe, Taaibos; Lebyane, Ngcobo (Mofokeng 88’)
Arrows: (4-5-1) Da Rocha; Musonda, Sangweni, Masinga, Mvalo (Tom 60’); Manqana, Mabuya (R. Henyekane 57’), Khuboni, Zothwane, Shange; Gabuza (Mashego 70’)
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Mvalo (Tom 60’); Manqana
Mabuya (R. Henyekane 57’)
Shange; Gabuza (Mashego 70’)