Dikwena wins battle of the Stars

A late strike by Mogakolodi Ngele helped Platinum Stars to 1-0 win over Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday afternoon.

Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese named the same team that drew 2-2 with Polokwane City, with Henrico Botes and Sibusiso Msomi continuing up front, while Mogakolodi Ngele remained among the substitutes.

Meanwhile, Themba Sithole made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 to rivals Bloemfontein Celtic last time out.

Tshepo Motsoeneng and Mbhuyiselo Sambu were included for the first time this season, while Mongezi Bobe and Katlego Mashego returned to the starting XI for Ea Lla Koto.

Both sides struggled to break down the opposition defence in the opening half an hour of the encounter, with Sambu and Richard Henyekane notably troubling the side netting.

Jurie Basie was extremely lucky not to have been sent off in the 33rd minute after bringing down Rober Ng’ambi with a cynical challenge, the Malawian was straight through on goal.

The half was largely played at pedestrian pace but things started to liven up in the closing stages with Tintswalo Tshabalala brushing the top of the crossbar before Henyekane only managed to direct his effort straight at Siyabonga Mpontshane from a good position.

Mduduzi Nyanda then found himself in a pocket of space but could only manage to find the keeper from close range on the stroke of halftime.

Chances at goal continued to be few and far between with either side’s strikers seemingly missing their scoring boots.

Second half substitute Ngele went close for Dikwena in the 66th minute. Siphelele Mthembu squared it on a plate for the Botswana attacker but he only managed to side foot his effort wide of Motsoeneng’s left-hand post.

Paulus Masehe thought he had found the winner in the 85th minute but his effort was rightfully chalked off as he was offside.

Ngele found the winner for Dikwena in the third minute of stoppage time, Mthembu beautifully set up the Botswana attacker, who finished with aplomb.

The loss stretches Ea Lla Koto’s winless streak in the league to seven games.

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ngele 90+3’)
Free State Stars 0

Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Mhlongo, Gumede, Mpeta, Nyanda (Mbatha 60’) , Sarr, Ng’ambi, Msomi (Ngele 60’), Tshabalala, Botes (Mthembu 52’)

FS Stars: Motsoeneng, Basie, Sambu, Ouro-Akoriko, Thlone, Kerspuy, Bobe (Sekola 63’), Masehe, Mashego (Esterhuizen 79’), Henyekane (Wiltwer 84’), Venter