BETHLEHEM – Free State Stars secured their fourth consecutive league win in beating fellow high riding side Cape Town City 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match played at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Saturday evening.
The rainy, slippery conditions made for a stop-start affair with Stars looking far from the side that only managed to avoid relegation playoffs on goal difference on the last day of the 2016/2017 league season.
A lapse in defensive concentration shortly before the half-time whistle allowed the attacking Congolese Harris Tchilimbou to put the ball past City goalkeeper Sage Stephens. The match would have a sense of deja vu for the Capetonians who lost by the same score-line at the same venue in their last league game of 2017 when they were also chasing the league title.
City struggled to get into the match and too much good work done by midfielders Lyle Lakay and Roland Putsche went a-begging in the final third of the field.
On a day in which Mamelodi Sundowns dropped three valuable league points in going down 3-1 to Orlando Pirates, City let a valuable opportunity slip through their grasp and only brilliant goalkeeping by Stephens to keep out a shot from Siphelele Mthembu in the 81st minute, prevented the home side from doubling their scoreline.
At the other end of the park, Stars’ Ivorian goalkeeper Badre Ali Sangare had a quiet evening in goal for the hosts, with the Cape team’s strikers seemingly having left their scoring boots at home.
Stars move to third place on the league table behind Sundowns and Pirates, and now have only lost one of their past eight league games. They sit on 28 points from 17 games. They will host Maritzburg United next Saturday.
City, meanwhile, will go back to the Mother City to regroup, as they remain on 27 points from 17 matches but have a Cape derby to look forward too next Saturday, against Ajax Cape Town, who downed Platinum Stars on Friday.
African News Agency