Cape Town - Highlands Park claimed a crucial win in their battle against Absa
Premiership relegation by defeating Free State Stars 1-0 at Goble Park
in Bethlehem on Sunday.
Defender Mothobi Mvala scored the decisive goal late in the game to give
the Lions of the North three valuable points. They remain second from
bottom, but are now just one point from the safety of 14th place, now
occupied by Ea Lla Koto.
Chances were hard to come by in the opening stages of the match, with
the first real effort in anger coming from Highlands’ Surprise Moriri in
the 18th minute, but he saw his shot well blocked by defender Bokang
The first half finished goalless, though Highlands had two great
chances: Charlton Mashumba rattled the crossbar with a fine left-footed
effort, while Brandon Theron had a clear sight of goal in injury time
before the break, but his low shot was well saved by the legs of
goalkeeper Chris Mafoumbi.
The visitors had dominated the first half, but they still shuffled the
pack at halftime by introducing Ryan Rae. The Tembisa side created
another chance for Mashumba in the 51st minute, but he dragged a shot
wide of the mark.
Highlands continued to look the likelier scorers, with Junior Sibande
dragging a shot direct from a kick just wide of the mark midway through
the second half.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 87th minute, with Rae providing
the assist for Mvala to score with a header and give his side a victory
which could turn their season around.