AmaZulu Frustrate High-Flying Stars
Absa Premiership Report: Free State Stars v AmaZulu 24 February 2018
Result: Free State Stars 0-0 AmaZulu
Date: 24 February 2018
Venue: Goble Park
Free State Stars and AmaZulu shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw at Goble Park on Saturday evening.
The opening stages of the first half proved to be an evenly-contested affair, with most of the action taking place in the middle of the park.
Chances were hard to come by in the opening exchanges, though, as both sides struggled to maintain possession, which led to a scrappy game after 30 minutes.
Maxime Cosse was handed a start by Luc Eymael and he nearly gave the home side the lead, three minutes before the break only to see his effort saved by goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.
That was the final and only real opening in the first stanza, as the sides went into the scoreless.
AmaZulu shot-stopper Mbatha was called upon in the opening stages of the second half as he pulled off a couple good saves to deny Stars an opener.
Simphiwe Lumkwana managed to carve out an opening for AmaZulu on the hour mark as he skipped past a challenge and unleashed an effort that sailed just wide of the mark.
Usuthu were then dealt a blow with 20 minutes left, as Sibusiso Mabiliso was forced off with an injury and replaced by Phumlani Gumede.
Both sides pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages, but they were unable to carve out clear-cut chances in the box.
Mbatha ensured AmaZulu walked away with a point after he pulled off another fine save in the closing stages as the score remained 0-0 at the full-time whistle.
Here's how they lined up:
Stars: 23. Sangare, 5. Masehe, 2. Mobbie, 28. Mahamutsa, 22. Keita, 29. Phungwayo, 50. Vilakazi, 27. Tchilimbou, 39. Cosse, 11. Jantjie, 21. Mthembu.
Subs: 32. Ngobeni, 6. Teyise, 13. Maphakisa, 26. Dlamini, 4. Makhaula, 19. Mbhele, 3. Anas.
AmaZulu: 28. Mbatha, 29. Mabiliso, 17. M. Gumede, 27. Nyongo, 13. Ouro-Akoriko, 33. Darpoh, 14. Mnguni, 23. Karuru, 32. Lumkwana, 10. Nomvethe, 18. Abraw.
Subs: 31. Pule, 22. Mthembu, 25. P. Gumede, 16. Manzini, 8. Ncobeni, 2. Khenyeza, 9. Cele.