Mabena fires Platinum Stars past Aces

Ndumiso Mabena's solitary strike earned Platinum Stars a 1-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces in an Absa Premiership game played at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Despite their victory, Dikwena remained third on the league standings - five points behind second-placed Bidvest Wits.

On the other hand, Aces also stayed on position five on the league table - two points behind fourth-placed Kaizer Chiefs.

The only goal of the match was scored in the second-half following a quiet first-half in which the two goalkeepers were not seriously tested.

Just five minutes into the game, Tlou Segolela dribbled his way into the Aces box, but Lehlohonolo Nonyane made a great tackle to stop the speedy winger.

The home side were awarded a free-kick outside the Aces box following a foul by Aubrey Modiba on Stars' dribbling wizard Masibusane Zongo.

The 25-year-old winger then dusted himself down and fired the resultant set-piece straight into goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane's hands.

Twelve minutes later, Aces full-back Bryce Moon combined with Aubrey Ngoma who placed his effort over the crossbar from the edge of the Stars box.

The score was 0-0 at halftime following a quiet first-half as the two sides failed to create clear-cut chances on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Rustenburg.

Collins Mbesuma should have gave Aces the lead six minutes into the second-half, but he placed his shot wide of the target inside the Stars box.

At the other end, Zongo's thunderous shot from a free-kick hit the crossbar with Bafana Bafana keeper Mabokgwane beaten.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 68th minute and it was Mabena who fired past Mabokgwane following a brilliant pass from Sibusiso Msomi.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, Dikwena introduced defender Siboniso Gumede for Zongo as they looked hold onto their slender lead.

Aubrey Modiba nearly grabbed a late equaliser for Aces in the 85th minute, but his left footed shot from inside the Stars box went wide of the target.

In the end, Mabena's second-half strike was enough for Stars to record a 1-0 victory over Aces at home.

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Mabena 68')

Aces (0) 0

Stars: Mzimela, Nhlapo, Sithole, Tshabalala, Mere, Mathe, Msomi, Zongo (Gumede 78'), Segolela (Kodisang 71'), Mabena, Ntuli (Rodgers 19')

Aces: Mabokgwane, Nonyane, Mzava, Hendricks (Matsi 48'), Nodada, Khuboni, Modiba, Moon (M.Mulenga 79'), Ngoma, S.Masina (Moseamedi 64'), Mbesuma