Free State Stars picked up a crucial point in their quest to beat the drop as Daniel Cardoso netted a disputed penalty to cancel out Sibusiso Hlubi’s 53rd-minute goal in a 1-1 draw at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was a closely contested affair, with Ea Lla Koto doing well to match Amakhosi for large stretches of play.
Stars’ best chance of the half came on the stroke of half-time, with Sibusiso Hlubi lining up a free-kick on the edge of the Chiefs box. The resulting shot was on target, heading for the top corner before Bruce Bvuma pulled of a great save, tipping the ball over the bar.
Hlubi was not to be denied in the 53rd minute, however, as he pounced on the ball following a defensive mix-up and fired into an open net.
The goal sparked a reaction from Chiefs, and after a sustained period of pressure, Leonardo Castro earned his side a dubious penalty which was converted by Daniel Cardoso.
Stars created one last chance to reclaim the lead in the 75th minute but Harris Tchilimbou couldn’t direct his header on target, letting Chiefs off the hook.
Chiefs piled forward in the closing stages of the match but it was all in vain as Stars’ defence held firm.
Ea Lla Koto will now turn their attentions towards the final match of the Premiership campaign, a daunting home game against title-chasing Sundowns next Saturday.