Match Review – BIDVest Wits F.C vs Free State Stars F.C
Stars, Wits play to 1-1 draw
Free State Stars and BIDVest Wits played to a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership match at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, with Sifiso Myeni and Kennedy Mweene both scoring penalties.
Ea Lla Koto came from a goal down with just ten men after Martin Carelse had been dismissed, though it is a result that will suit neither team as they look to put distance between themselves and the bottom two with a view to avoiding the threat of relegation.
On the five minute mark the visitors had the first effort on target, with Kennedy Mweene doing well to hold Nkululeko Radebe’s shot. Moments later Aleni Lebyane had a good opportunity at the other end of the field but his right footed effort lacked accuracy.
Makola and Lebyane missed further attempts on Darren Keet’s goal in the opening quarter of an hour, while former Ea Lla Koto player Sifiso Vilakazi tested Mweene with a headed effort after good work by Sifiso Myeni down the right flank.
On 20 minutes the hosts should have opened the scoring, with Makola missing out from close range after BIDVest Wits struggled to defend a Matome Madimabe corner kick. Three minutes later Manti Moholo let fly with a long range effort that was superbly tipped around his post by the diving Keet.
Calvin Kadi almost gave Wits the lead against the run of play ten minutes before half time, shooting wide of Mweene’s goal from 12 yards out. And a short while later Myeni forced the Stars keeper into his best save of the half with a long range effort.
The home side made two changes at the start of the second half, introducing Thamane Motaung and Sifiso Thomo, but it was Wits who almost broke the deadlock in the opening minutes of the second stanza, with Vilakazi’s powerful drive producing a good block from Mweene.
The game’s turning point came with just under 20 minutes to play: Stars defender Martin Carelse deliberately handled the ball in his own penalty area and conceded a spot kick as well as being shown a red card for a professional foul. BIDVest Wits winger Myeni converted the penalty in the 75th minute to put his team 1-0 up.
The Clever Boys almost doubled their lead in the 81st minute but Mweene was on hand to make an excellent save to deny Kadi from close range.
And Mweene’s role as a major protagonist in the game was not over, with the Zambian keeper scoring an 85th minute penalty to level the scores at 1-1 after Wits’ Rene Richards had also been guilty of a hand-ball in the box.
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Mweene 85′ pen)
BIDVest Wits (0) 1 (Myeni 75′ pen)
Stars: (4-4-2) Mweene; Nkosi, Carelse, Gcaba, Mashego; Makola (Motaung 46′), Moholo, Lechesa, Madimabe; Mofokeng (Thomo 46′), Lebyane (Nkatha 73′)
Wits: (4-4-2) Keet; Morton, Mashamaite, Batabaire, Richards; Myeni (Haskins 87′), Rodrigues (Mngomeni 62′), Radebe, Mdluli; Kadi, Sif. Vilakazi