Tuks hand Stars another defeat

A brace from Geofrey Massa helped the University of Pretoria to a comfortable 3-1 win over a mangerless Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership encounter played at Tuks stadium on Wednesday evening.

Massa’s rapid brace set the home side up for victory. Atusaye Nyondo got his name on the score sheet from the spot while Katlego Mashego scored for the visitors.

AmaTuks coach Steve Barker made one change to the side that beat AmaZulu over the past weekend as Mpho Matsi came in for Siyabonga Shoyisa.

Matsi moved into the midfield while Buhle Mkhwanazi shifted back into defence alongside Tebogo Monyai.

Free State Stars interim coach Themba Sithole, on the other hand, made three changes to the starting XI that lost 2-0 to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

Mongezi Bobe, Soriola Gege and Lucky Mokoena replaced Anver Esterhuizen, Sibusiso Mthethwa and Mthokozisi Yende.

The home side got off to the best possible start, with Geofrey Massa bagging a quick-fire brace in the opening five minutes, much to the delight of the small gathering of fans who had braved the dismal weather conditions.

First Massa smashed a powerful free-kick attempt from just outside the area past a helpless Daniel Agyi in the fourth minute before stabbing home from close range following a defence blunder a minute later.

The early setback seemed to awaken the Ea Lla Koto and they nearly pulled one back from a free-kick in the seventh minute. Bobe’s curling free-kick beating Washington Arubi, but not the underside of the crossbar.

Both sides continued to create chances but neither were able to add to their goal tally before the break.

Sithole brought on Sibusiso Mthethwa at the break as he looked to swing things around in Ea Lla Koto’s favour.

Instead, Mthethwa gave away a penalty after fouling Atusaye Nyondo inside the area a mere five minutes into his arrival on the pitch.

Nyondo brushed himself off and coolly slotted the ball past Agyei, 3-0 in favour of the hosts.

Katlego Mashego pulled one back for the visitors in the 75th minute following a cleverly worked free-kick. Venter’s pass into the area found an unmarked Mashego who made a good turn before slotting the ball past Arubi.

Stars piled on the pressure in the final few minutes but Tuks held on to climb up to 10th on the log.

The defeat demotes Ea Lla Kto down to 13th.

University of Pretoria (2) 3 (Massa 4’+5’, Nyondo 50’)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Mashego 75’)

Tuks: Arubi; Kekana, Matsi, Mkhwanazi, Moussono- Moussono, Ketjijere, Monyai, Zwane, Mosadi (Maruping 88), Massa (Selolwane 70’), Nyondo (Mathosi 90+1’)

Stars: Agyei; Masehe, Ouro-Akoriko, Shabalala(Mthetwa 46’), Thebakang, Gege, Mashego, Bobe (Basit 59’), Mokoena, Venter, Abraw