Platinum Stars edge Usuthu
Platinum Stars returned to winning ways in the Absa Premiership when they came back from a goal down to record a 2-1 win over AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
Henrico Botes cancelled Ayanda Dlamini’s opener before Patrick Malokase netted the winner soon afterwards.
The first chance of the match fell for the visitors in the 10th minute when Sipho Jembula found Henrico Botes just inside the box, but his low drive was blocked by goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.
A minute later the home side came threatened at the other end when Ayanda Dlamini connected with a cross from Goodman Dlamini, but his looping header dipped over the crossbar.
Both sides were guilty of giving possession too easily in the final third due to indecisiveness and poorly executed final passes.
However, in the 27th minute Jembula set up Robert N’gambi inside the penalty area, but his low drive was blocked by Kapini.
Ten minutes later Ramson Zhuwawo made a good run down the left flank before playing a low cross towards Ayanda Dlamini, but striker poked the ball wide of the near post.
The home side continued to press forward in the 39th minute Zhuwawo found Goodman Dlamini 25 yards from goal, but his low strike went just wide of the upright.
Usuthu finished the half as the stronger side and they should’ve done better in the 42nd minute when Goodman Dlamini cut inside on the right before finding Ayanda Dlamini at the far post, but his rushed volley flew over the target.
Nine minutes after the break N’gambi had a good chance to put his side ahead when he was offered space inside the penalty area, but he pulled his shot wide of the post.
Roger Palmgren’s finally broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Goodman Dlamini ran through the defence before playing a low cross for Ayanda Dlamini to push the ball in at the far post.
However, their lead lasted just eight minutes as the visitors drew level in the 66th minute Vuyo Mere delivered a low cross from the left to find Botes who fired a first time shot past Kapini from the centre of the penalty area.
The equaliser spurred the visitors on and ten minutes later they were awarded a penalty when Bukasa Kasonga used his hands to block a goal-bound shot from Botes.
The Usuthu defender received his marching orders for the offence and substitute Malokase converted from the spot to put his side ahead.
The hosts could’ve leveled matters two minutes later when another substitute Stanton Lewis found himself one-on-one with Jackson Mabokgwane, but his low shot was blocked by the goalkeeper who did well to come off his line.
Lindokuhle Mbatha should’ve extended his side’s advantage in the 84th minute when he ran right through the Amazulu defence but somehow he sent his shot wide from near the penalty spot.
Usuthu had two final chances to salvage a point in added time but Marc Van Heerden saw his well-taken freekick parried away by Mabokgwane, while Vilane’s attempt was blocked on the line by his own teammate Ayanda Dlamini.
AmaZulu (0) 1 (A Dlamini 58’)
Platinum Stars (0) 2 (Botes 66’, Malokase 77’)
AmaZulu: Kapini, Teyise, Van Heerden, Nyadombo, Kasonga, Sangweni, Zhuwawo (Senamela 73’), Mokoro, Mbele (Vilane 85’), Dlamini G (Lewis 65’), Dlamini A
Platinum Stars: Mabokgwane, Ngwepe, Mere, Semenya, Nyauza, Msomi, Mbatha, Nkosi, Jembula (Molangoane 57’), N'gambi (Malokase 70’), Botes (Mathe 82’)