Ironically it was a mistake in the fifth minute from Kwizera that handed Benni McCarthy’s side the lead early on. The goal-minder fluffed his lines after a harmless looking shot from Ayanda Patosi. Matthew Rusike followed up and managed to get the ball into the net.
Stars found themselves with their backs to the wall but did not give up. The home side had the better chances in the opening stanza, but woeful finishing let the team down.
Sinethemba Jantjie was the dangerman and his attacks on the right flank put lots of pressure on City’s Edmilson Dove at left back.
Jantjie came close in the 11th minute but shot just wide. Then Judas Moseamedi wasted a good opportunity for Luc Eymeal’s side when he messed up with only the keeper Peter Leeuwenburg to beat.
The Citizens did have their moments. Craig Martin headed wide in the 14th minute after a good pass from Keanu Cupido.
Then Leewenburg nearly cost his side dearly after a meek shot from Makhehleni Makhaula. Craig Martin came to City’s rescue in the 26th minute when he cleared a Moseamedi header off the line.
Shortly thereafter Sthembiso Dlamini pushed the ball high when gifted an opportunity by Leeuwenburg.
Stars’ captain Paulus Masehe was lucky to remain on the field after a dangerous over the ball tackle on Roland Putsche. Ironically Putsche was yellow-carded for this incident. The City captain was left limping heavily and had to leave the field shortly thereafter.
City started the second half strongly and were nearly rewarded in the 47th minute when Patosi came close. Kwizera saved brilliantly from a curling shot by Patosi.
Bangaly Keita rounded off from a Jantjie corner in the 57th minute after a flick-on from Masehe to make the score 1-1.
Patosi again came close with a free kick in the 62nd minute. Just a minute later Stars took the lead for the first time when Sthembiso Dlamini finished off brilliantly with a curling shot from just inside the box (2-1).
Stars dominated late in the second half and had more than two chances to increase their lead. But Lady Luck was on City’s side.
With almost the last kick of the match, Martin sent a shot towards goal. The ball took a slight deflection and hit the crossbar. It rebounded onto the back of Kwizera and landed in the back of the net (2-2)
City will now look forward to the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.
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