Stars fall to ‘bogey’ Birds
SAFA President, Kirsten Nematandani has spoken out strongly against the growing incidents of hooliganism within South African football.
Bethlehem - Moroka Swallows continue to be Free State Stars’ ‘bogey’ side after the Soweto team recorded a 1-0 win at Goble Park in an Absa Premiership match on Saturday.
The Birds have not lost to Ea Lla Koto since 2009 and extended that record to seven league games with this valuable away victory, secured courtesy of a superb Katlego Mashego
free kick in the second half.
Stars dominated the opening exchanges and on 18 minutes only a terrific save from Greg Etafia denied them the opening goal, with the Nigerian goalkeeper tipping over a point-blank effort from Dove Wome.
A minute later Moeketsi Mvula had a free header in the box but put his effort over the top, while on 24 minutes the same striker tested Etafia with a low shot to the near post, but the Swallows goal-minder kept out the effort with another good save.
Just past the hour mark the dangerous Wome brilliantly controlled a long ball over the top of the defence and rounded Etafia before tumbling to the ground in hopes of winning a penalty. Fortunately the referee was not fooled by a blatant piece of diving from the Togo attacker, though he should have booked him for simulation.
Ea Lla Koto completely dominated the first 45 minutes, though coach Steve Komphela
must have been disappointed that at the sounding of the half time whistle the score was still 0-0, with his team unable to capitalise on their superiority.
The Birds were much more of an attacking threat in the second half and on 54 minutes Lerato Chabangu almost opened the scoring with an acrobatic volley, only for Kennedy Mweene to produce an excellent low save at his near post.
The home side remained potent on attack and should have broken the deadlock on 68 minutes when Wome put Mvula through on goal, but the young striker saw his angle quickly closed down by Etafia and pulled his shot wide of the target.
In the 75th minute the goal the game had been threatening finally arrived, and what a beauty it was. The Birds’ Katlego Mashego
curled home a brilliant goal direct from a free kick to put the visitors 1-0 up.
Stars created a few good chances to equalise, the best of which went Mvula’s way in injury time, but they were unable to convert them and have only themselves to blame for picking up no points from a match they mostly dominated.