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Football | Absa Premiership

Henrico Botes © Backpagepix

Platinum Stars continue march



Platinum Stars kept up their excellent recent form with a 1-0 victory against SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium an Absa Premiership clash on Saturday night.

The win means Dikwena finish top of the PSL’s Q2 league for the second quarter of the 2012/13 season and claim prize-money of R1.5-million for their achievement.

It means Stars extend their remarkable run of wins to eight in their last nine league games and at the halfway stage of the league you would have to say they are genuine title contenders as they trail leaders Kaizer Chiefs by just a single point.

The visitors welcomed back Vuyo Mere and Thuso Phala from suspension, as well as Benson Mhlongo from injury. The veteran former Orlando Pirates star returned to the centre of defence alongside Tshepo Gumede.

SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt was without centre-back Bevan Fransman through suspension, he was replaced by Thabo September. Otherwise it was the same line-up that defeated Moroka Swallows 3-1 last time out.

The first half was devoid of clear-cut chances, Phala forced an excellent stop from Ronwen Williams from a free-kick, the best of the opportunities for Dikwena.

While at the other end Kermit Erasmus produced some magic in the right wing to tee-up George Maluleka, but the midfielder put his effort wide of goal.

Stars took the lead 10 minutes into the second half after September was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Botes made no mistake from the spot to score his sixth of the season in just his 11th start.

Mabhuti Khenyeza should have done better when he was well-placed for a shot, but put his effort into the side-netting.

Perhaps out of character given how this season had gone, SuperSport failed to find an equaliser and suffered just their second defeat of the league campaign.

The final matches of 2012 for these two sides will see SuperSport host Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday, while Platinum Stars are at Moroka Swallows on the same evening.

SuperSport United 0

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Botes 56’pen)

Teams:

SuperSport United: Williams, Nkausu, September, Diouf, Thwala, Doutie, Mdluli (Cale 58’), Maluleka, Hartog, Erasmus (Khenyeza 70’), Paulse (Zuma 58’)

Platinum Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Mhlongo, Mpeta (Ngwepe 71’), Phala, Mathe, Mkhabela, Mbatha (Malokase 72’), Ngele (S Mthembu 85’), Botes

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