Stars score twice but can’t get past Baroka in Bethlehem

They came close to securing all three points but in the end Free State Stars had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Baroka at Goble Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

Nineteen-year-old striker Mpho Khabane and midfielder Sibusiso Hlubi both got on the scoresheet for Ea Lla Koto, but Baroka responded with goals of their own through Lawrence Ntswane and Collins Makgaka as the points were shared in Bethlehem.

The result sees Stars move two points clear of the dreaded dropzone but still not safe from relegation with three matches remaining in the season.

Stars started brightly and took the lead after just 20 minutes courtesy of exciting new striker Mpho Khabane, who produced a clinical finish from right in front to put his side one goal to the good.

Bethlehem-born Khabane came through Stars’ youth teams before being given his debut against Amazulu last month, and has quickly made a name for himself as a striker with big potential despite being only 19-years-old.

Stars managed to hold on to that lead going into half-time despite the best efforts of their opponents, but Baroka struck five minutes after the break courtesy of a well-worked offensive move finished off by Lawrence Ntswane.

The goal prompted Stars coach Nikola Kavazovic to bring on Tanzanian striker Martin Kizza for young Khabane, and the change did the trick almost immediately as Sibusiso Hlubi fired the home side back in front after taking full advantage of a defensive lapse from the Baroka backline.

Unfortunately for Stars fans, Baroka would find another leveller from Collins Makgaka in the 73rd minute, and try as they might Ea Lla Koto could not find the winner they so desperately wanted as they had to settle for another point in their quest for survival in the Absa Premiership.

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