Mohammed Anas scored a brace inside the last 10 minutes to clinch victory for Free State Stars against Platinum Stars. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

RUSTENBURG – Two late goals from substitute Mohammed Anas helped Free State Stars beat bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars 2-1 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Saturday evening.

The North West-based side, without a Premiership win in their last seven games, or even worse, without a league win in 2018, surprised their in-form opponents by taking the lead in the 42nd minute through a strike by defender Gift Sithole.

Roger de Sa’s men looked worthy of all three points for much of the middle part of the match as Robert Ng’ambi stamped his authority on the midfield for the hosts, with Vuyo Mere’s experience also worth its weight in gold.

However, just when coach De Sa thought that his charges were going to put a dent in the Bethlehem-based side’s four-match unbeaten run – which has taken them to fifth spot on the league table – second-half substitute Anas scored past Mbongeni Mzimela in the 82nd minute.

Worse was to follow for the home side when Anas latched on to a long ball in the 89th minute before drilling it past Mzimela to put Luc Eymael’s men into the lead.

For coach De Sa, the result means his side now find themselves still on 17 points from 23 games, knowing that at least 30 points are required if they are to play top-flight football next season.

Dikwena, as Platinum Stars are known, now find themselves six points adrift of second last side Polokwane City (23 points from 21 games) and seven behind Ajax Cape Town (24 points from 21 matches).

Their next league outing is away to Bloemfontein Celtic next Saturday.

The Free State club, meanwhile, moved to third place on the table on 37 points from 23 games as they chase log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and second-placed Orlando Pirates respectively.

They will be at home to an out-of-sorts Chippa United in a Nedbank Cup match on Saturday.

African News Agency (ANA)