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Football | Nedbank Cup

Thuso Phala © Gallo Images

Stars fight back to end Downs' Cup run



Platinum Stars secured a semifinal bertha thanks to a 2-1 come from behind victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash at Loftus Stadium on Sunday evening.

Teko Modise gave the Brazilians the lead before Thuso Phala and Robert Nga’mbi scored for Dikwena to send them through to the next round.

The game started off slowly as both sides looked to calm early nerves and settle into the encounter.

Edward Manqele had a great chance to give his side an early lead in the 12th minute of the match.

Teko Modise split the Dikwena defence with a brilliant ball, Manqele took a superb first touch but was unable to slide the ball past a rushing Siyabonga Mpontshane

Teko Modise supplied his teammates with another great chance on goal a few minutes later. The Sundowns captain’s pinpoint free-kick into the area was met by an unmarked Wanye Arendse in the box but the defender failed to hit the target from close range.

Modise thought he had grabbed the opener for the hosts 10 minutes before the break after he poked home from close range. The midfielder though was rightfully adjudged to be offside.

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Both sides tightened up their defence in the last few minutes in fear of conceding a goal just before the break.

The Brazilians dominated the first half of the encounter but they were unable to capitalise on their chances subsequently the first 45 ended goalless.

Dikwena came out all guns blazing after the break winning a free-kick from the kick-off. Thuso Phala’s resulting cross into the area evaded everyone before falling to an to an unmarked Tintswalo Tshabalala at the far post, the midfielder looked certain to score but Wayne Sandilands made a great save to deny him.

Teko Modise opened the scoring just after the hour mark. The supporters were still on their feat pleading with Pitso Mosimane to substitute the veteran midfielder when he pounced brilliantly on a loose ball in the box before slotting the ball into the back of the net.

Second half substitute Richard Henyekane nearly doubled his sides lead in the 67th minute of the game. The forward ran past the entire Dikwena back four before striking at goal, his shot though only managed to trouble the post.

Platinum Stars equalised through Thuso Phala in the 71st minute of the game. The speedy winger benefited from a great cross by Vuyo Mere to head home from close range.

Robert Nga’mbi scored the winner for Platinum Stars in the 87th minute of the match. The Malawian midfielder poked home from close range to secure a semifinal berth for the Rustenburg outfit.

Platinum Stars subsequently join SuperSport United, United FC and Kaizer Chiefs in the semifinals of the competition.

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Modise 62’)
Platinum Stars (0) 2 (Phala 71’ Nga’mbi 87’)

Teams

Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands; Langerman, Mwanjale, Mphahlele, Manqele (Kekana 65’), Pelembe (Henyekane 54’), Nyandoro, Shongwe, Modise, Rodgers (Mushekwi 84), Arendse

Platinum Stars: Mpontshane; Mere, Gumede, Mhlongo, Mpeta, Ngele, Nga’mbi, Mathe (Mkhabela 80’), Botes, Phala, Tshabalala (Mbatha 56’)

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