Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
19 Feb 2016
12:49 pm

Ea Lla Koto’s confidence soars

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Having recorded a famous 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in a midweek league encounter, Free State Stars will head into today's clash with Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with much more confidence.

Giovanni Solinas, coach of Free State Stars. ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Bethlehem outfit seem to have found their rhythm under the Italian mentor Giovanni Solinas despite missing a number of their key players in Andre Fillecia, Moeketsi Sekola and Sthembiso Ngcobo due to injuries.

Skipper Paulus Masehe has been left to lead leading a relatively inexperienced team which includes Ayanda Nkosi, Lucky Mohomi and Sello Japhta.

However, they have proven to be capable of grinding out results when it matters most.

Before the Pirates victory, Stars had suffered two major defeats, losing 5-2 to Mamelodi Sundowns and 1-0 to a struggling Jomo Cosmos.

However, the previous win saw them climbing to seventh spot on the league table, with 25 points. While today’s opponents Chippa are one place above them having registered 28 points.

Nkosi was the man of the moment during the Pirates clash, scoring the only goal of the match in the 80th minute having troubled the Buccaneers defence for the most part of match.

The youngster was subsequently rewarded with the Man-of-the-Match accolade and will be vital for this clash.

Meanwhile, things might not be going well for the Chilli Boys in the boardroom, with the club losing their case against former head coach Roger Sikhakhane and will have to pay him six months’ salary.

But the players performance on the field must be something that comforts club owner Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi.
They come into this encounter having secured two important victories against Cosmos and Bloemfontein Celtic winning, 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.

The Chilli Boys coach Dan Malesela hasn’t had it easy trying to steer this side into a force to be reckoned, but these victories surely gave him a bit of light on the team’s progress since he took over from Sikhakhane.

The last time the two sides met, Stars emerged 3-0 winners, but there has been a lot of changes in the teams since then, which makes this game much more exciting.