Free State Stars development side remained in the middle of the Multichoice Diski Challenge table after a hard-fought 1-1 draw with defending champions Golden Arrows at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday.
The opening 10 minutes saw a display of end-to-end football, but the scorching heat that forced two water breaks during the encounter proved to affect both sides decision making in the final-third.
However, mid-way through the first half, the reigning champions took the lead through attacking midfielder Siphelele Ngubane after he beat the offside trap and fired a low shot through the legs of goalkeeper Theletsane Tsatsi.
Highly-rated South Africa youth international Andile Fikizolo nearly doubled their lead on the half-hour mark but Tsatsi was on hand once more to smother the effort after the pacey winger broke clean through on goal.
Nonetheless, the scare sparked life into Ea Lla Koto and midfielder Charles Kampi almost found an equaliser from range but South Africa U23 goalkeeper Ricardo Goss managed to tip the effort over the post.
The save looked to have been a vital stop going into the break but Stars centre-back and inspirational captain Fanele Filita, made it 1-1 from close range in stoppage time – just before half time.
In the second-half both sides were wasteful in possession as the heat started taking it’s toll but the end-to-end action provided the neutrals in Bloemfontein much entertainment in the 1-1 draw. Captain Filita drew all the plaudits with a dominating display in the heart of the defence.
The result sees Arrows remain in ninth, one place behind Free State Stars.