Amakhosi edge Ea Lla Koto

Kaizer Chiefs narrowly defeated Free State Stars 1-0 at Goble Park on Wednesday evening with a goal deep into injury time at the end of the encounter.

It was a even, open and end-to-end start to this tie, with Kaizer Chiefs first with an attempt as Ryan Moon shot off target from the edge of the box with four minutes played.

Harris Tchilimbou so nearly stole in for a goal a minute later as he pounced when Itumeleng Khune dropped a deflected cross from the left from Patrick Phungwayo, but the Chiefs stopper recovered to make the save.

Badra Ali Sangare got down to well to stop a shot from wide on the right-hand side from Ramahlwe Mphahlele sneaking in at his near post, before an excellent save from Khune as he tipped a super strike from Paulus Masehe over his crossbar, with 12 minutes on the clock.

Moon tried to play Leonardo Castro in but he just failed to reach the ball before the Colombian fired just off target from a good cut-back from Ramahlwe Mphahlele from the right.

A good cross from Phungwayo was headed clear before Sinethemba Jantjie fired just wide following a forceful run into the box.

Goodman Dlamini saw his 28th minute shot deflect just off target as Stars continued to attack well, ahead of a header from Bangaly Keita that he only managed to head into the ground from a free-kick two minutes later.

Sangare was forced into a super save to deny Hendrick Ekstein from finding the bottom-right corner of his net, after he was set up by a Castro pass.

Tchilimbou then fired over as the first half drew to a close, while Stars were quickest out of the blocks after the break as Siphelele Mthembu fired into the side netting before a good block from Keita to stop a Mphahlele cross from causing problems.

There was a period of play where Chiefs were on top but without threatening, while a number of players slipped on the wet surface, including Ekstein as he fired in at Sangare, who made an easy stop.

Nhlanhla Vilakazi shot well over on 53 minutes after a super passing move forward before the save of the game from Sangare to deny Castro just moments later following a swift Chiefs counter. Siphiwe Tshabalala played Ekstein in on the right, and his cross found Castro, whose looping header looked to be heading in, only for the Stars stopper to tip the effort over.

Ea Lla Koto kept probing for a winner, with both Tchilimbou and Masehe firing off target before Tchilimbou saw a good header float just past a post from another good Phungwayo delivery.

Khune did well to stop Mthembu from pouncing on a low cross from Jantjie from the right before Rooi Mahamutsa made a vital interception to stop second-half Chiefs substitute Bernard Parker from slotting home.

However, it wasn’t to be for Stars, as Hadebe scored a winning goal for the away side with virtually the last touch of the game as he connected to a Tshabalala delivery – having stopped Parker from netting moments earlier with another tipped effort over the bar.

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