Free State Stars new boy Nhlakanipho Ntuli showed glimpses of his quality during the 1-1 draw with Lesotho national team at Goble Park Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Since returning to South Africa after his stint at Eredivisie outfit FC Twente, the attacking midfielder has been hard at work in a bid to regain full match fitness with Ea Lla Koto.
And the Orlando Pirates youth product made an early impact against Likuena with a fierce shot at goal in the opening minutes.
This sparked a real dominant display in midfield from the 21-year-old, who had a couple of efforts at the Lesotho goalkeeper, before one was parried straight into the path of Tebogo Potsane – who had the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.
However, just before the break, Stars defender Sifiso Mbele fouled Likuena’s Mabuti Potloane inside the penalty area and handed Tshwanelo Koetle the opportunity to equalise from the spot.
Koetle made no mistake with the subsequent spot-kick and Serame Letsoaka’s charges went into the second-half with the scores level.
The second 45 minutes proved to be a rather disjointed affair as Letsoaka experimented with a couple of fresh legs and change in tactical system.
Thabo Maphakisa had the only real opportunity to put Stars in front – however, his effort struck the post as the scores remained 1-1 at full-time.