Golden Arrows and Free State Stars played out a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The result sees Abafana Bes’thende stay in 11th on 31 points from 26 matches, while Ea Lla Koto remain in fifth on 38 points from the same number of outings.
The first chance of the match went the way of Stars, with Sinethemba Jantjie sending a free kick just off target inside the opening three minutes, while a quarter hour later, at the other end of the field, Arrows’ Lerato Lamola shot just wide after a good turn on the edge of the box.
The teams traded half-chances through the rest of the first half, but the fact that neither Abafana Bes’thende goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva not his Ea Lla Koto counterpart Badra Ali Sangare were called upon to make a single save tells its own story.
The second half saw both teams up their attacking game in the opening minutes, as Arrows nearly claimed the lead in the 48th when they had a couple of attempts blocked by defenders before Jabulani Shongwe picked up a rebound and struck a shot onto the crossbar.
Stars then broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, with Patrick Phungwayo’s cross from the left flank sliced into his own net by defender Nkanyiso Mngwengwe. The centre-back was soon replaced by Siphelele Magubane as the hosts looked for a quick reply.
And Abafana Bes’thende duly made it 1-1 in the 72nd minute, with the substitute Magubane powering into the box after a fine passing move before stabbing home a shot – which was only half-saved by Sangare – to level the game.
The Durban side ended the stronger of the two, but weren’t able to make the most of their chances in the dying minutes, especially when substitute Wayde Jooste missed out in the 86th minute after a fine passing move.
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Magubane 72’)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Mngwengwe og 56’)
Arrows: Mbaeva, Mzava, Mathiane, Mngwengwe (Magubane 61’), Nkombelo, Bilankulu, Zuke (Jooste 63’), Shongwe, Venter, Lamola, Ndwandwe
Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Jantjie (Teyise 90’), Makhaula, Vilakazi, Dlamini (Mokhuoane 71’), Tchilimbou, Cosse (Mthembu 65’)