Free State Stars 1-1 Polokwane City
Eleazar Rodgers netted a late equaliser as Free State Stars rallied from behind to clinch a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City at Goble Park on Wednesday evening.
After a goalless first stanza, Rise and Shine claimed the lead through Mohammed Anas just after the hour mark, before Rodgers spared his side's blushes with a well taken header seven minutes from time.
The first half was a one-sided affair as Stars pegged Polokwane back in their own half as they created chance after chance.
Sibusiso Masina had the first chance of note after five minutes of play but his driven shot flew over the bar, while Yussuf Jappie saw his goalbound shot kept out by George Chigova in the Polokwane goal on 13 minutes.
Ea Lla Koto continued to pile forward, with Goodman Dlamini firing high and wide before Eleazar Rodgers headed over in the 24th minute.
At the opposite end of the pitch, Polokwane created a rare chance in the 29th minute but it went to waste as Vusimuzi Mngomezulu failed to hit the target.
City created another chance just one minute later, but Nicolas Motloung was unable to guide his header on target as the ball flew wide of the left post.
Stars finished the first half on the front foot, however, as Hlubi's volleyed effort forced Chigova into making a low save in the 41st minute, before Samkelo Mbambo saw his volley hit the post and go behind for a goal kick on the stroke of half-time.
The hosts started the second half brightly, going close to grabbing the lead through efforts from Hlubi and Dlamini.
However, it was Rise and Shine that claimed the lead in the 62nd minute, Mohammed Anas trapping the ball in the centre of the box before setting himself and firing a low volley into the left corner.
Stars redoubled their efforts as the match entered its final phase, as efforts from substitute Michelle Katsvairo and Hlubi failed to hit the target.
However, they finally got the breakthrough they were looking for in the 83rd minute as a deep ball from out wide on the left found Eleazar Rodgers in the box, and the striker shrugged clear of his marker before heading the ball in off the left-hand post.
Polokwane hit back by creating two good chances in the closing stages of the contest, but Bongile Booi's 85th-minute header was kept out by the keeper, and he later volleyed over the bar as the two teams were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.