Stars snatch win at the death
Ulundi - Free State Stars’ persistence at the King Zwelithini Stadium paid off on Wednesday night as they secured a last gasp 1-0 win.
First half action was a plenty as a lively tempo ensured some good entertainment for the Ulundi crowd.
Stars started strongly, showing purpose in attack, but they met their match in a well-marshalled AmaZulu defence.
Both sides had chances on goal in the first half, but the two goal keepers - Tapuwa Kapini for AmaZulu, and Kennedy Mweene for Stars, were in fine form.
Usuthu were nearly off to a perfect start when Tsweu Mokoro’s second minute free kick appeared to be headed goal wards, until Ea Lla Koto keeper Mweene intervened to make a fine save.
But after that it was the visiting team who were the busier in attack - only to be denied on countless occasion by Kapini.
Zakari Morou had two attempts for the visiting side, before Edward Mnqele’s effort was well saved by Kapini.
AmaZulu did manage to create some chances, but Sibusiso Hadebe could not beat Mweene.
The second half for the most part saw Ea La Koto enjoying the upper hand, having a string of shots on goal, and also hitting the bar.
It was a similar scenario in the second half as Ea Lla Koto pushed hard for a goal, but were frustrated again as Kapini kept out Thabo Matlaba midway through he stanza and then stopped Rudiger Gilbert’s effort.
Stars continued to pressure the Usuthu defence right up until the final whistle and they finally got their reward when Aleni Lebyane headed home Noah Chivuta’s free kick in the 90th minute.
For the record, Stars ended the game with 10 men after Celani Vilane was sent off for a second bookable offence with five minutes to go.
AmaZulu (4-4-2): Kapini; Bukasa, Chavula, Vilane, Sangweni, N Dlamini (Dlamini 56‘), Mokoro (Zhuwawo 58‘), Hadebe (Hammers 79‘), Zwane; A Dlamini, Mayonga
Free State Stars (4-4-2): Mweene, Matlaba, Gilbert, Sadate, Mhamha; Wome, Masehe, Mashego (Baloyi 90‘), Chivuta; Morou (Lebyane 77‘), Mnqele (Motha 58’)