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Leopards Relegated To NFD

ABSA Premiership

Result: FS Stars 3-2 Leopards

Date: 18 May 2013

Venue: Goble Park

Free State Stars beat Black Leopards 3-2 at Goble Park on Saturday, resulting in Leopards being relegated to the National First Division.

Leopards knew that they had to win to have any hope of staying in the country’s top division. Their form this season has been dismal, winning only 2 games away from home this season.

Stars, on the other hand, were playing for a place in the top 8 in the division. Their last outing was a 2-2 draw with rivals Bloem Celtic. They had an unbeaten home record against Leopards before the game, winning twice and drawing twice.

Ea Lla Koto did not get off to the best start, however. Mongezi Bobe was the early hero for Leopards as he swept home from the penalty area after Rodney Ramagalela’s cross from the right wing. The score was 1-0 after just 7 minutes.

Stars continued to play second fiddle to Leopards, as Samuel Mabunda attempted a long-range shot on 16 minutes, and they had a free kick shortly thereafter thanks to Dove Wome’s handball. It came to nothing though, and Stars began to get themselves back into the game.

Daniel Cardoso took a shot from 25 yards out, which went fizzing over the crossbar. Coldrin Coetzee then had the chance to restore parity with a free kick but he bent his shot too far around the right post.

The game saw several chances in quick succession, as Dove Wome’s shot from outside the area hit the bar on 32 minutes. Wome was then brought down inside the box by Ernort Dzaga, to earn Stars a penalty. Kennedy Mweene calmly placed the ball in the bottom right corner to go into the break 1-1.

The second half started relatively quietly. Mongezi Bobe took a free kick shortly before the hour mark but his shot went past the right post.

The next act of the game featured possibly the best player on the day, Dove Wome. He received the ball from Anver Esterhuizen and slotted home into the middle of the goal to give Stars the lead.

The game entered a period where both teams looked to outwit their opponents rather than overpower them. Neither side committed too many men forward and the game looked a bit stale, until Dove Wome gave Stars the spark once more.

His long-range shot on 71 minutes was tipped behind by Maphaha, and from the resulting corner Anver Esterhuizen headed the ball into the top right corner to make it 3.

Wome had a few more shots, most of which went over the bar, before Mongezi Bobe had his shot saved at the other end of the pitch. The game entered the final 10 minutes, which proved to be a bit frenetic.

After several fouls were given away by both sides, giving the game a short-tempered edge, Raymond Monama tried to get Leopards back in the game with a shot from 20 yards out.

Just two minutes later, Leopards had their goal and it came through the boot of David Zulu. He received a cross from Mongezi Bobe and shot home from around the penalty spot.

Extra time seemed to drag on for Stars, as they defended a wave of attack, but they held on for a 3-2 win to go 8th on the log. As for Leopards, the loss sees them relegated from the PSL.

FS Stars: Kennedy Mweene, Daniel Cardoso, Mbhuyiselo Sambu, Sadat Ouro-Akoriko, Enva Wiltwer, Coldrin Coetzee, Katlego Mashego, Anver Esterhuizen, Dove Wome, Paulos Masehe, Moeketsi Mvula.

Leopards: Azwindini Maphaha, Harry Nyirenda, Nkosiyabo Xakane, Humphrey Khoza, Samuel Mabunda, Raymond Monama, Mongezi Bobe, Rodney Ramagalela, Karabo Tshepe, David Zulu, Ernort Dzaga.

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