Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Free State Stars at the Mbombela Stadium in their Absa Premiership encounter on Saturday afternoon.
Chiefs came into the game desperate to snap their five-game winless streak and hold on to their top-eight position after a poor run of form in the league.
The Soweto giants faced a Free State Stars team fighting for their survival, though, and needed a result in their bid to stay in the top flight.
Leonardo Castro was drafted into the starting eleven and came close to opening the scoring, but could only find the side-netting from close range with 12 minutes gone.
Ernst Middendorp’s men were in control of the ball for the majority of the opening stanza, but were struggling to create any clearcut chances.
Stars, with their defensive approach, offered little going forward in the half as Bruce Bvuma went untroubled.
0-0 at the break with Chiefs facing the same problems that have plagued them in recent times by struggling to break down their opponents.
The men from the Free State finally opened the scoring just eight minutes into the second half as a comical mix-up at the back allowed Sibusiso Hlubi to get a toe in and poke the ball past Bvuma.
However, it didn’t take Chiefs long to hit back when they were awarded a penalty just five minutes after going behind. Daniel Cardoso was the man who stepped up and fired home with ease.
Stars responded with changed approach and were looking to attack Chiefs and regain the lead. They came close when Harris Tchilimbou headed wide.
As the game began to draw to a close, both sides had openings, but neither could capitalise as they were forced to settle for a point apiece.
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