Free State Stars advanced to the next round of the Nedbank Cup with a comfortable 1-0 win over Witbank Spurs in match played at the Charles Mopeli on Sunday afternoon
Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela didn’t take Witbank Spurs for granted. He fielded his tried and tested squad, and it wasn’t surprising as they started the game like a house on fire, and they dominated the possession.
New signee Danny Venter played exceptionally well to get past Spurs defender in the 5th minute, but he shot with his weaker foot and missed the target completely. Stars never looked back, and continued to take the game to their opponents.
Stars looked dangerous every time they pushed forward, and Moeketsi Mvula nearly gave the home side the lead in the 14th minute, but he couldn’t connect with Luyolo Nomandela’s cross, and Spurs keeper collected comfortably.
Spurs’ Kethukuthula Zwane tried his luck from distance but his shot couldn’t trouble Stars keeper Kennedy Mweene. Venter continued to trouble Spurs’ defence, and as the game approached the half hour mark, he rose above them to head on target, but Spurs’ keeper Brice Msiza produced a brilliant save for a corner.
Stars took the lead in the 32nd minute when Coldrin Coetzee’s screamer took a huge deflection to beat helpless Spurs’ keeper into the back of the net. Stars held onto the possession and never gave the visitors space to see the side of goal, and the score remained 1-0 at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Both sides came out blazing in the second half. However, they both failed to create any clear scoring opportunities, although Stars dominated possession over lowly Witbank Spurs, but Komphela’s men were often let down by the final ball.
The visitors took charge in the last 20 minutes of the game, and were seriously looking for an equalizer, but Stars defence marshalled by Sadate Okoriko, proved too experienced for the Witbank-based outfit. Stars should have had a penalty with 10 minutes remaining, but the referee gave a freekick on the edge of the box, and Dove Wome couldn’t direct his shot, as it sailed wide.
In the end, it was the Free State-based team that won the game, and booked their place in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.