Stars late show denies Arrows
Phuthaditjhaba - A late goal from Dove Wome saw Free State Stars and Golden Arrows play to a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership match at Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday night.
A first half strike from Norman Smith had seemingly put the visitors on course for victory, only for the hosts to rally late on.
Arrows’ Nhlanhla Zothwane had the first shot in anger, firing over the crossbar from 18 yards out as early as the seventh minute of the match, and a short while later it was Wome’s turn to bring a comfortable save out of goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors.
The visitors’ dangerous striker Thamsanqa Gabuza earned his way into the referee’s book in the 20th minute for dissent, remonstrating with the referee after a foul by Luyolo Nomandela on Norman Smith.
Smith got his own back just past the half hour mark when he put Golden Arrows 1-0 up, shooting home from the centre of the penalty area after an assist by Zothwane from the right channel.
Stars’ Noah Chivuta tried to get his team back on level terms with a trio of shots between the 34th and 39th minutes, but only one was on target and it was easily saved by Steinbors as Abafana Bes’thende held onto their lead up to the half time break.
The hosts tightened up their defence at the start of the second half with the introduction of Soriola Gege in place of Reuben Thebakang, but it was up front where they needed to improve. Wome produced another save out of Steinbors on 52 minutes, but again it was easy pickings for the Arrows ‘keeper.
Stars kept plugging away, but their finishing let them down. On 83 minutes midfielder Katlego Mashego drilled a shot from just outside the penalty area but the ball flashed over the crossbar, much to Steibors’ relief.
Finally, a minute later, the Free State side drew level, as they had been threatening to do virtually all of the second half. Wome fired a shot past the ‘keeper to make it 1-1 after a good pass by Gege had created the opportunity.