Platinum Stars deny Pirates three points

A second half goal by Ndumiso Mabena ensured Platinum Stars walked away with a point in the Absa Premiership as they drew 1-1 against Orlando Pirates on Saturday afternoon at Orlando Stadium.

Although the hosts started better, they failed to create clear cut chances in the opening ten minutes with Dikwena trying to close down the spaces in the midfield.

However, in the 17th minute Robert Ng’ambi showed his class when he made a good run towards Pirates’ final third, but defender Tshepo Gumede stopped him in his tracks.

Two minutes later skipper Thabo Matlaba nearly broke the deadlock after making a great run from the heart of the park only to see his shot going wide.

Although the rain poured heavily, Dikwena also fought hard to get an early lead and Sibusiso Msomi’s attempt to catch Siyabonga Mpontshane off his line was saved by the keeper.

As the match approached the half hour mark, Pirates forged forward in search of a lead through Matlaba. He broke free down the left but his shot lacked power as Mbongeni Mzimela gathered with ease.

In the 34th minute, Eric Tinkler’s men found the back of the net when Dikwena’s defence failed to deal with a cross - the ball fell for Mpho Makola who passed it to the unmarked Issa Sarr and he easily beat Mzimela, 1-0.

It was 1-0 at the interval and the Rustenburg side came back stronger in the other half, aiming to get something out of the encounter.

Three minutes into the second stanza, they received a free kick when Thandani Ntshumayelo foiuled Solomon Mathe. Tintswalo Tshabalala’s delivery from a set piece connected with Ndumiso Mabena’s fine header to beat Mpontshane on his left corner, 1-1.

Despite the rain pouring heavily, the game produced more injuries and set pieces due to the wet surface, however, both sides were good in defending.

In the 66th minute, Sarr nearly scored a brace when he rose head and shoulders above the rest, but he failed to hit the target.

With 15 minutes remaining on the score board, Dikwena were reduced to 10-men after their captain Vuyo Mere was shown his second yellow card for time wasting.

Tinkler introduced the enterprising Thabo Qalinge replacing Mpho Makola in the last 10 minutes. The speedy winder made an immediate impact and gave the visitors trouble down the left flank as he made a great move cutting inside, but his attempt at goal went straight to Mzimela.

In the last six minutes, the Sea Robbers kept Stars in their own half aiming to bag a winner as Erasmus saw his shot flying over the posts after a brilliant run.

Despite dominating Dikwena in the dying minutes of the encounter, Pirates could not convert their chances and both sides settled for the draw.

Orlando Pirates: (1) 1 (Sarr 34’)

Platinum Stars: (0) 1 (Mabena 48’)

Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Matlaba, Gumede, Gcaba, Sarr, Myeni (Rakhale 64’), Ntshumayelo (Majafa 86’), Erasmus, Gabuza, Makola (Qalinge 57’)

Platinum Stars: Mzimela, Mere, Nhlapo, Semenya, Zulu, Mathe, Madondo (Zongo 760’), Tshabalala, Msomi, Ng'ambi (Kodisang 63’), Mabena (Ntuli 90’)