Plucky Free State Stars frustrate champions Wits in Bethlehem

23 August 2017 - 22:14 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Makhehlene Makhaula of Free State Stars (L) and Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiershipat Bidvest Stadium on December 17, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Makhehlene Makhaula of Free State Stars (L) and Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiershipat Bidvest Stadium on December 17, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits’ first win over Free State Stars at Goble Park since October 2013 will have to wait a little longer. 

The two teams played to an exciting 2-2 draw in Bethlehem on Wednesday night as ten-men Ea Lla Koto once again managed to frustrate the PSL defending champions in the Free State province.

Wits took the early lead in the first half through Kobamelo Kodisang but Stars replied just after the hour mark from the effort of Relebogile Mokhuoane who rounded off a good team move as the two teams went to the break tied 1-1.

In the second, Wits took the lead for the second time in the match with what looked like the winner in the 82nd minute from Reeve Frosler but new recruit from Kaizer Chiefs Siphele Mthembu has other ideas as he scored from the penalty spot two minutes from time.

In end it was a bitter sweet evening for Wits youngster Frosler who conceded the late penalty that was put away by Mthembu in the closing stages as Stars rescued a valuable point at home.

For Stars coach Sammy Troughton he will rue the fact that he lost another key player in the form of midfielder Thamsanqa Teyise who saw red after 68 minutes to join defender Sifiso Mbhele who was dismissed on the opening weekend loss to AmaZulu.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Stars managed to hold on for the last 20 minutes to earn this crucial home point against the Absa Premiership defending champions.

Stars and Wits lost their first matches of the season to AmaZulu and Cape Town City last weekend respectively and they remain winless after two matches of this campaign that still has a long way to go.

Wits last win over Stars at Goble Park was a 2-0 in a league in October 2013 and since then they suffered two heartbreaks in the Telkom Knockout and once in the Nedbank Cup.

In the league, Wits have suffered two league defeats and managed one draw in this period of underachievement on the road to Bethlehem.

Stars return to league action with a daunting home clash against Mamelodi Sundowns on September 12 while Wits will host Golden Arrows the following day in Johannesburg.

Before they return to league action, Wits have back to back MTN8 semi-final clashes against on-form Cape Town City as they look to defend their title while Stars will be idling.

 - TimesLIVE

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