Ea Lla Koto start 2018 with victory at the Champions

Another Premiership win lifted Free State Stars into second place after the 1-0 result over Champions Wits at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.

Edwin Gyimah and Lehlohonolo Majoro were given their debuts for a Wits side looking for some inspiration – and a strong start for the hosts saw Majoro win an early corner for his new team with a deflected shot.

Thabang Monare though dragged his effort wide from the resultant corner before Majoro connected to a superb cross from Sifiso Myeni, however, after rising well for the header, he failed to find the target.

Stars were being pegged back by an energetic Wits side, who may have done better on 24 minutes when Daylon Claasen fired straight at Badra Sangare after being fed by the lively Majoro from wide.

Claasen then did better with 31 minutes on the clock with a shot that made Sangare work, as he got down low to palm the ball to safety.

But for all their good work, Wits found themselves a goal down on 32 minutes as Teyise expertly volleyed home from a well struck corner.

Gavin Hunt’s side stepped up a gear after the goal and may well have found a way back into this game, but after flying forward at pace on a few occasions, Majoro’s volley wide from a Claasen ball on 40 minutes was the closest they came to a leveller before the break.

Stars started the second period the brighter of the two sides and looked to build on their lead, only to subdued by a Wits side determined to rescue their season.

Majoro and Daine Klate really should have done better though when through on goal on the hour mark, only to fire wide – before Klate was withdrawn for an earlier collision with Sangare.

Appeals for a penalty for handball for Wits were waved away on 67 minutes ahead of a header from Buhle Mkhwanazi from a Myeni free-kick on 71 minutes that flew over the crossbar.

Pule failed to test Sangare with a weak effort with 76 on the clock, as Majoro failed to get any real connection at the back post after substitute Gabadinho Mhango and Sfiso Hlanti had combined well to create the late chance.

And with time slipping away, Amr Gamal’s last-gasp effort was deflected away from danger.

The result left Wits bottom of the standings with 11 points, while Stars moved to within three points of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, but having played two games more.

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