|Danny Venter © Gallo Images
Free State Stars claimed their first Absa Premiership win of the season when they trounced Platinum Stars 3-1 at Goble Park on Wednesday night.
Goals from Mbuyiselo Thethani, Danny Venter and Thokozani Sekotlong saw Ea Lla Koto to a first three-pointer in the league in 2016/17, while Dikwena have now suffered a third successive defeat.
Free State were on the front foot from the word go and claimed the lead in the 12th minute, with Mbuyiselo Thethani firing home a left-footed shot after some fine attacking play by the hosts.
Eight minutes later Ea Lla Koto created a chance to double their lead, but Charles Kampi was unable to keep his shot down to at least test Steven Hoffman in the Platinum goal.
The Dikwena goalkeeper was called into action on the half hour mark, producing a fine diving save to keep out a shot on goal from a free kick by Thokozani Sekotlong.
The first half finished with Free State 1-0 to the good, having enjoyed the upper hand in the first 45 minutes.
The hosts continued where they left off in the early minutes of the second half, forcing Hoffman into a couple of sharp saves through the likes of Moeketsi Sekola and Nhlanhla Vilakazi.
Platinum had offered very little in attack for most of the match, but midway through the second half they almost claimed an equaliser through Robert Ng’ambi, only for the Malawian to be denied by an excellent save from Thela Ngobeni.
That chance gave Dikwena hope of a comeback, but that was soon quelled by a goal for Free State’s Danny Venter to make it 2-0: the winger beat Hoffman with a right-footed shot in the 79th minute to put the result beyond doubt.
And just a minute later Ea Lla Koto rubbed further salt into the wound, with Sekotlong making it 3-0, while the Rustenburg side was at least able to claim a consolation goal when Henrico Botes converted a late penalty.
Free State Stars (1) 3 (Thethani 12’, Venter 79’, Sekotlong 80’)
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Botes 87’ pen)
Free State: Ngobeni, Mbhele, Thethani (Filita 90+3’), Okumu, Thlone, Makhaula, Vilakazi, Kampi, Venter, Sekotlong (Kiiza 90+3’), Sekola
Platinum: Hoffman, Mere, Sithole, Nhlapo, Zulu, Msomi (Madondo 14’), Mathe (Shilongo 90+1’), Ng’ambi, Tshabalala (Ntuli 66’), Mabena, Botes