POLOKWANE – Polokwane City slumped to their third consecutive league defeat as they were beaten 3-2 by fellow strugglers Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday evening.
The damage was done in the first 45 minutes, with Stars leading 3-0 at the interval.
The Bethlehem-based team’s coach Luc Eymael would have had a smile second to none on his face, after having experienced several controversy-filled months at the Limpopo club last season, when he initially left them for Bloemfontein Celtic before being ordered to return by the PSL.
Stars opened the scoring in the 17th minute, when City’s defence battled to clear the ball from their penalty area, resulting in a shot on goal which goalkeeper George Chigova failed to catch, allowing Mohammed Anas to follow up and score.
Anas doubled the score five minutes later when he fired home into the left-hand corner of the net, and City’s woes continued in the 25th minute when midfielder Paulus Masehe unleashed a ripping shot from 25 metres out, which again had the beating of Chigova.
The Free Staters were reduced to 10 men seven minutes before halftime when Masehe received his second caution of the match after putting in a dangerous tackle, hence picking up a red card.
City coach Bernard Molekwa must have laid down the law to his charges during the halftime break as they came out looking for a way back into the game, and reduced the deficit in the 57th minute when second-half substitute Walter Musona headed home, beyond the reach of Stars goalkeeper Badra Sangare.
City midfielder Sammy Seabi headed home from a corner in the 80th minute to set up a nail-biting finish to the match, with the visitors holding on to secure three valuable league points.
The hosts had by far the better scoring opportunities in the second half, with Sangare being the busier of the two goalkeepers, as he pulled off a host of quality saves.
The win by Stars was their first of the season, which has taken them to four points from the same number of matches ahead of their next league outing away to Maritzburg United on Friday, September 29.
City, with four points from five games, will go back to the drawing board in search of a better showing against the high-riding Cape Town City in the Mother City on Friday.
African News Agency (ANA)