Stars fend off Maritzburg threat

Goodman Dlamini of Free State Stars celebrates his goal  (Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix)

Goodman Dlamini of Free State Stars celebrates his goal (Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix)

Free State Stars secured a valuable home win after edging Maritzburg United 2-1 in their Absa Premiership encounter at Goble Park on Tuesday night.

It was a second loss in a row for Maritzburg, who will have some soul searching to do as they look to avoid a campaign spent fighting off relegation.

Goodman Dlamini set the tempo for the home side as he fired off the match’s first strike in the opening minute. The effort went narrowly wide but served as an indication of things to come.

With both teams still finding their feet, Mxolisi Kunene wasted a chance to send the Team of Choice in front after beating his markers and getting away his effort shortly before the 20-minute mark. As the match wore on, it was Dlamini who was proving as the most likely goal threat but Richard Ofori’s goal remained unbeaten after 45 minutes.

It took a foul twenty minutes into the second period for Ea Lla Koto to go in front as Harris Tchilimbou calmly converted his spot kick.

Recent Maritzburg signing Keletso Makgalwa was introduced as his side attempted to restore parity and the new man almost endured himself to fans but his 72nd minute shot hit the post and stayed out.

Maritzburg’s chances were dealt a major blow as Makaringe was shown a second yellow meaning they were fighting a goal and player disadvantage.

Free State Stars took full benefit as Dlamini settled the encounter with a goal four minutes from time. That was not the last act as Makgalwa marked his debut with an injury-time goal albeit not enough to save his side.

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