A second half goal by University of Pretoria’s Lennox Bacela denied Free State Stars the three points when they played to a 1-1 draw during their Absa Premiership encounter at Goble Park Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Ea Lla Koto saw most of the ball in the opening stages of the encounter as they looked to grab an early goal in order to unsettle AmaTuks.
In the 13th minute, Danny Venter played a great cross and his Stars teammate Nhlanhla Vilakazi, who fired the ball over the crossbar.
The ball fell kindly for AmaTuks striker Lucky Mathosi following a miskick by the Stars defence five minutes later, but the forward’s effort missed the target.
On the half-mark Stars goalkeeper Daouda Diakite was called into action when he came out to parry a cross from AmaTuks striker Lennox Bacela.
In the 36th minute, Danny Venter managed to break the deadlocked and scored his third goal in the league, his brilliant first touch allowed him to take a wonderful left footed shot beating Arubi on the far corner.
Ernst Midendorp’s men went to the tunnel enjoying the slender lead and it was Arubi who was called to action when he saved Ngassa’s attempt two minutes into the second half.
In the 55th minute, Andrea Fileccia wasted a beautiful chance to double their lead in the box as he blasted his shot over Arubi’s goals, and two minutes later Bacela converted a great cross from substitute Getaneh Kebede down the left flank. The ex-Orlando Pirates man outjumped Justice Chabalala and scored with a fine header.
Masehe rose above the rest and failed to hit the target in the 64th minute and in their response, Tuks saw their goal disallowed, although television replays showed the ball to have crossed the goal line before Diakite made a save.
With less than 15 minutes remaining on the clock, the hosts lacked the hunger they displayed in the opening half and winger Bokang Thlone nearly claimed the lead for the hosts but saw his shot hit the side of the net in the 79th minute.
As the dying minutes of the match failed to produce goals, both sides settled for the point and the hosts now occupy the 10th spot with 12 points from 10 matches while Sammy Troughton’s men are placed at the 15th spot with six points.