ANA
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
18 Oct 2017
10:15 pm

Stars outshine Ajax in Bethlehem

ANA

Free State Stars recorded their third consecutive league win of the season, as they outplayed Ajax Cape Town 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match played at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Wednesday evening.

Edward Manqele of Free State Stars celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Free State Stars and Ajax Cape Town on 18 October 2017 at Goble Park Stadium @Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Getting points off Stars at their home fortress is fast becoming a problem for PSL clubs, as Ajax found out when striker Edward Manqele scored his second goal in two years for the hosts to put Stars ahead three minutes before half-time. Manqele’s strike partner Mohammed Anas doubled the score in the 51st minute.

Stars certainly did not look like a side that only managed to secure their premiership status on the final day of last season (and that on goal difference which forced Baroka FC into the national playoffs). Since the arrival of Belgian coach Luc Eymael, Stars have a new zest about their play with the defence in front of goalkeeper Badra Sangare looking much more solid.

Ajax, who have now lost four of their seven league matches played this season, had their chances, with midfielder Thabo Mosadi just unable to get on to a cross which passed through the Stars penalty area in the 14th minute.

Four minutes before the break, the Capetonians had their best chance of the first 45 minutes, but defender Roscoe Pietersen saw his goal-bound header well kept out by goalkeeper Sangare.

The Urban Warriors, as Ajax are affectionately known, never gave up and showed great character in taking the game to the hosts. They were nearly rewarded in the 79th minute when defender Mosa Lebusa linked up with Mosadi, but the latter was unable to get his header on target.

In the 66th minute of the match, Ajax came within a whisker of reducing the deficit, but striker Tashreeq Morris was left frustrated as his powerful shot connected with the Stars’ woodwork and out of danger.

Stars, now on 10 points from seven games, will host the other Stars in the form of Platinum Stars in their next league encounter on Saturday, while on the same day, Ajax, on five points from seven games, will be at home to Bloemfontein Celtic.