Absa Premiership

Late equaliser denies Igesund first win

2016-10-30 18:32
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Free State Stars battled back from two goals down as they scored a late equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against Highlands Park at the Makhulong Stadium on Sunday.

The Lions of the North got off to a flying start when Edwin Sitayitayi fired them in front after just six minutes, before Thapelo Mathibe extended their lead early in the second half.

But Ea Lla Koto rallied almost immediately by pulling one back through Thokozani Sekotlong and Armand Ella netted with a free-kick in stoppage time to earn a share of the spoils.

The visitors were on the attack early on and won a corner in the second minute of the match, but instead it was Gordon Igesund's side who opened the scoring four minutes later.

Their first foray upfield saw Franklyn Cale find Sitayitayi, who beat Thela Ngobeni to give the hosts the perfect start.

The Bethlehem outfit looked to respond to the early setback, but David Booysen failed to test Tapuwa Kapini in the 14th minute with a shot that drifted to the right of the goal, while Danny Venter saw the keeper parry his strike midway through the first half and Moeketsi Sekola missed the target on the rebound.

A header from Zamuxolo Ngalo at the other end from Brandon Theron's 32nd-minute corner didn't trouble Ngobeni and the final real opportunity before the break saw Venter fire over from a free-kick on 45 minutes.

Booysen had a chance to restore parity five minutes into the second half, but he steered Sekola's cross wide of the goal, before Nyiko Mobbie drew a save out of Kapini five minutes later and Thokozani Sekotlong then dragged his effort to the left of the target.

The Lions of  the North looked to have survived that spell of pressure and they created a couple of chances in quick succession through Charlton Mashumba, who tested Ngobeni with his second attempt on the hour mark.

The resulting corner led to their second goal as Mathibe got on the end of Theron's delivery to beat Ngobeni with his header.

However, Sekotlong halved the deficit within two minutes, the striker finishing off a pass from Venter inside the area, although Mathibe nearly restored the hosts' two-goal cushion from a free-kick four minutes later that flew past the right post.

Kapini had to punch away a strike from Venter with 15 minutes left as Igesund thought he had finally secured his first win at the helm, but it was not to be as Ella struck from a direct free-kick at the death to clinch a dramatic point for Giovanni Solinas' men.

Read more on:    highlands park  |  free state stars  |  psl  |  soccer

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