Stars labour past Pirates

17 Feb 2019 14:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) – African Stars Football Club utilised their one-man advantage to record a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the capital on Saturday.
Both teams started the match timidly as they failed to produce a single shot on target in the first half.
Stars’ Protash Kabwe was the first to threaten when he shot weakly at goal, but his attempt went wayward.
His teammate, Ronald Ketjijere, was next but he failed to trouble Donovan Gai-Nub who was between the posts for Pirates.
The game took an interesting turn in the 44th minute as Pirates’ Ghanaian import, Cephas Awunor, was given his marching orders following a second yellow card, leaving his team a man short and the score line goalless all at half-time.
The second half started off with Pirates being the better team, despite being a man short as they dominated possession and created several scoring chances.
First to threaten was Ndeanga Mwaikange in the 51st minute, who almost opened the scoring for Pirates with a rasping shot just outside the 18 yard box, but Ratanda Mbazuvara tipped the ball over the bar for a corner kick.
Stars responded with a well-practised set piece routine but Gustav Isaak shot wide, before he had another chance and blasted it over the bar.
Stars also had a penalty shout waved away by the referee before George Haikali delayed his shot in the box to allow Stars to clear on the other end.
In the 67th minute, Pirates had the best chance of the match as Jairus Shilongo rattled the upright with a powerful shot following clever play from substitute Jarmyn Ripunda.
That seemed to have scared the Stars’ technical team as they brought in veteran utility player, Engelhard Kahua, who then justified that decision by providing an inch perfect cross to Rodger Katjiteo to score the only goal of the match in the 82nd minute. The win sees Stars remain third on the log on goal difference with 21 points, the same as second-placed Mighty Gunners.
Pirates remain at the bottom of the log with six points from 12 matches.
Meanwhile, in other matches played, Black Africa beat Gunners 2-0 Friday night, while the University of Namibia Football Club overcame Young Brazilians 3-0 in Karasburg on Saturday.
Okahandja United recorded their second victory of the season with a 1-0 victory over Citizens to move four points clear of the relegation zone.