Stars outshine Maritzburg
Danny Venter (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - A Danny Venter-inspired display saw Free State Stars march on to a 2-0 PSL victory over Maritzburg United at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Sadate Ouro-Akoriko drew the first blood with his goal in the 11th minute, before their lead was extended by Adam Abdul-Basit midway through the second half.
Free State Stars came into the fixture looking for their first win in the league, while Maritzburg United were out to build on their 1-0 win over Polokwane in week one of the new season.
But it was Ea Lla Koto who got the game underway with some creative play. Danny Venter’s fourth minute free-kick was met by Themba Tshabalala inside the box, but his header went harmlessly wide.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to grab the lead, however, when Sadate Ouro-Akoriko struck home Venter’s corner-kick, in the 11th minute, to make it 1-0.
Midway through the first half, the physical battles started to come to the forefront and Michael Morton pulled off a challenge on Katlego Mashego
which saw him become the first player booked.
Soon after, Venter continued with his impressive form and forced a save out of Maritzburg United goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters.
The tireless Team of Choice midfielder then tried from range, but his effort went wide of the left side of goal in the 34th minute, before Venter cracked a whip on the other end of the field.
Ernst Middendorp knew things had to be changed and he brought on Delron Buckley
, at the restart, in place of Reece Evans for more power in the middle of the park.
Free State Stars’ dominance continued to get the better of Maritzburg and it in the 66th minute the lead was doubled to 2-0 when Adam Abdul-Basit slotted a low ball into the back of Walters’ net.
With ten minutes remaining, the goal scorer tried to add a second to his name but his effort flew narrowly wide of the goal. It proved to be his last touch of the ball as he was then substituted by Moeketsi Sekola.
Free State Stars held on to the two-goal advantage as they inflicted a second defeat in as many games on Middendorp’s men. Scores:
Free State Stars
: (1) 2 (Ouro-Akoriko 11’, Abdul-Basit 66’)Maritzburg United:
0 Teams:Free State Stars:
Agyei, Ouro-Akoriko, Masehe, Tshabalala (Mthethwa 70’), Thebakang, Nomandela, Mashego, Kerspuy, Camaldine, Venter, Abdul-Basit (Sekola 81’) Maritzburg United:
Walters, Awal, Booysen M, Johannes, Morton (Mkhize 59’), De Jongh, Cloete, Evans (Buckley 46’), Sheppard (Mandaza 73’), Smeekes, YakubuPSL results from Wednesday night:
Free State Stars 2-0 Maritzburg United
Wits 1-0 Golden Arrows
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Platinum Stars
Polokwane City 2-3 Bloemfontein Celtic
University Of Pretoria 0-1 Supersport UnitedTuesday's results:
AmaZulu 1-2 Black Aces
Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Moroka Swallows