Cape Town - Free State Stars came from a goal down to secure a 1-1 draw with Golden Arrows in the Absa Premiership at Goble Park on Wednesday night.
Nkanyiso Cele opened the scoring midway through the first half from a set-piece, but after peppering the Arrows goal throughout the tie, Judas Moseamedi ultimately found a late equaliser for Ea Lla Koto.
Stars began the game well and Sthembiso Dlamini was in with a half chance with just four minutes played from a fierce drive that just cleared the Golden Arrows crossbar.
The action then swung to the other end as Knox Mutizwa shot over after a good cross from Siboniso Conco from the right-hand side.
Moseamedi saw his header from a 12th minute free-kick fly just over the target under pressure from Nkanyiso Mngwengwe.
Nyiko Mobbie was proving to be an important outlet and he found Moseamedi with an excellent cross from deep on the right, that was just over. Arrows stopper Nkosingiphile Gumede then did well to pluck a fierce cross from Patrick Phungwayo out of the air that was aimed at Moseamedi.
Stars continued to attack and Dlamini had a low shot squeeze past the left hand upright after a neat backheel from Sibusiso Masina to set him up. Arrows then wanted a penalty as Lerato Lamola went down under a challenge from Makhehlene Makhaula but replays showed their was no contact.
Moseamedi came even closer to the opening goal with a super header that just skimmed the goal, from another deep cross from Mobbie, but it was the home side who took the lead, with 37 minutes on the clock.
A free-kick from the right from Cele, aimed at Mngwengwe, was missed by a rash of bodies in the box went in to the net off the bounce, beating a diving Badra-Ali Sangare.
The Stars stopper then made a strong one-handed save from another Cele set-piece and it was the home side that ended the half the stronger of the two sides as Stars pressed for an equaliser.
Tshepho Tema was in with a chance early in the second period as he looked to get on the end of a flick from Cesaire Gandze but Gumede was first to the ball while Mutizwa fired just over after a neat set up from Cele.
Dlamini had a shot blocked on 54 while appeals for a penalty for handball were waved away but Stars were again close to a leveller on 60 minutes. Gumede came out to punch clear a ball into the box from a Dlamini delivery that Masina so nearly flicked into the back of the net
With Stars sensing a goal, Coach Luc Eymael made a number of changes, with Sinethemba Jantjie on for Harris Tchilimbou (63'), Eleazar Rodgers on for Masina (72') and Yusuf Jappie coming on for Dlamini (77') with all three players having an impact on the game.
Chances were coming thick and fast with Moseamedi heading wide a Phungwayo ball while Dlamini was just wide of the left upright on the volley from Masina's layoff.
There were clear and strong calls for a penalty as Moseamedi was downed in the box by arrows substitute Musa Bilankulu but play was waved on.
A Rodgers flick was off target before a good Jappie cross was cut out by Bilankulu, and Tema hit the back stanchion from a late corner.
But the goal that Stars deserved finally arrived when Moseamedi headed down and past Gumede from an excellent cross from Rodgers from the right hand side.
Stars went in search of a winner, but it wasn't to be with both sides coming a way from this match with a point.