Platinum Stars book TKO quarterfinal spot

Platinum Stars defeated Maritzburg United 3-1 on penalties following a goalless draw in a Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night, to book their place in the next round.

As a result, Dikwena become the first team to advance to the quarterfinals of this year's competition, while the Team of Choice bow out of the tournament.

Although the Team of Choice dominated possession in the opening exchanges, it was Dikwena who threatened first 10 minutes into the match.

Katlego Otladisa pounced after Maritzburg had failed to clear the ball, but the Stars' midfielder's acrobatic effort missed the target.

Stars goalkeeper Dino Visser was then called into action in the 24th minute and he produced a good save to deny Maritzburg striker Evans Rusike.

The Team of Choice applied more pressure on the Dikwena defence with the halftime break fast approaching.

Rusike should have made it 1-0 to Maritzburg in the 42nd minute following a good move involving Mohau Mokate and Devon Saal. However, the Zimbabwean marksman, who has been constantly linked with Orlando Pirates, fired wide of the target from a promising position.

The score was 0-0 at halftime between Maritzburg and Stars following a first-half which was slightly dominated by the hosts.

The Team of Choice continued to press Dikwena after the restart with Lebohang Maboe forcing Visser into a great save in the 49th minute.

Stars head coach Roger De Sa reacted by pulling out Thabang Sesinyi as he introduced veteran attacking midfielder Robert Ng'ambi.

Dikwena then took control of the match and Brian Mwila came close to breaking the deadlock in the 71st minute when his attempt went just over the crossbar.

Both sides were unable to create clear-cut chances in the remaining minutes and the match ended goalless in regulation time, and extra-time followed.

Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids was forced to make a change in the first-half of extra-time as Mxolisi Kunene went down injured.

The attacker was replaced by Australian youth international Liam Youlleys, who was making his official debut for Maritzburg.

Nevertheless, the two sides could not break the deadlock in extra-time and a penalty shootout followed.

Stars duly won 3-1 on penalties thanks to Visser's heroics as he denied both Mokate and Youlley, while Bevan Fransman placed his effort over the crossbar.

Maritzburg United (0) 0

Platinum Stars (0) 0

Platinum Stars won 3-1 on penalties.

Maritzburg United: Ofori, Onyango (Fransman 70'), Xulu, Saal (Mekoa 69'), Sanoka, Rusike, Shandu, Makaringe, Maboe, Mokate, Kunene (Youlley 100').

Platinum Stars: Visser, Mnguni, Zulu, Sithole, Mwedihanga, Mere, Masalesa, Monama (De Jongh 78'), Sesinyi (Ng'ambi 54'), Otladisa, Mwila (Ntuli 88')