royal happy with point

Thabo Johnson

Thabo Johnson

Thanda Royal Zulu's mentor Roger Palmgren was relieved to share the spoils with Free State Stars in the Absa Premiership outing played at Goble Park at the weekend.

The two sides drew 2-2 in this well-attended match, which drew close to 7000 spectators.

Palmgren's relief stems from the fact that the result ended their bad run, that included losing 1-0 and 3-0 to SuperSport United and the high-riding Ajax Cape Town.

His warriors gallantly fought back to hold the in-form Ea Lla Koto.

Stars' goal poacher Diyo Sibisi opened the scoring in the 27th minute when beating Aime Kitenge with a header from a well taken Siyabonga Mdluli free kick.

Sthembiso Ngcobo made it 2-0 for Ea Lla Koto in the 29th minute, firing past the advancing keeper after capitalising on Royal defenders' inability to clear the danger.

However, Amabhubesi rose to the occasion and in the 33rd minute Bernard Mnguni headed past Stars goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, making it 2-1.

The visitors found their best on the day after three tactical substitutions.

They equalised in the 86th minute, courtesy of Emmanuel "Scara" Ngobese, who sold a dummy to a defender on the edge of the box before firing past Mweene.

"Knowing the history of Stars playing at home, I must say I'm relieved getting a point. We played well taking into account that we conceded early goals and that it was an away match.

"This will boost the morale after poor results in previous games against SupertSport and Ajax. The fighting spirit gives me hope about the prospect of saving the team from relegation," Palmgren said.

Stars' coach Kinna Phiri pointed out that his boys' inability to convert opportunities motivated the visitors.

"We are going to whittle out elements that let us down so we avoid this happening in our future matches. But we cannot panic now. We are focusing on forthcoming matches," Phiri said.