Dlamini brace dims Stars

Goodman Dlamini scored a brace as AmaZulu ended their winless streak in the Absa Premiership with a 2-0 win over Platinum Stars at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Wednesday night.

The attacking midfielder opened the scoring early in the first half before grabbing his brace at the death to seal a hard-fought win for the KwaZulu-Natal Side.

Usuthu opened the scoring in the eighth minute after Platinum Stars failed to clear Njabulo Manqana’s corner, allowing Goodman Dlamini to place his shot into the bottom right corner.

Dikwena had an opportunity to equalise six minutes later when Sibusiso Hadebe’s low cross found Robert Ng’ambi unmarked just outside the six-yard box, but somehow he failed to connect with the ball.

Then in the 21st minute Ayanda Dlamini did well to dispossess Tshepo Gumede on the right before racing into the box, only to fire his shot straight at Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Ten minutes later Henrico Botes’ neat touch set the ball up for Mogakolodi Ngele just inside the box, but his volleyed strike flew over the crossbar. Ngele came close in the 34th minute from a free kick, but Aubrey Mathibe dived to his left to keep the ball out.

In the 38th minute Issa Sarr managed to get his low strike past Mathibe, only to see the ball coming back off the left upright, while Ng’ambi’s follow-up effort was deflected wide by a defender.

A minute later the action was at the other end with Ayanda Dlamini squaring the ball for Manqana on the edge of the box, but his grasscutter drew a brilliant save from Mpontshane as Usuthu took a slender lead into the break.

The hosts thought they had doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Lunga Zondi bundled in Njabulo Manqana’s cross-cum-shot, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Alan Freese’ side applied pressure at the other end but Mathibe made a comfortable save to deny Thabiso Semenya in the 58th minute, before pulling off a better stop to deny Lindokuhle Mbatha at the near post a minute later.

After a scrappy period it was the visitors who created the next chance in the 70th minute when Ngele found Sibusiso Hadebe on the right side of the box, but his solid strike was saved by Mathibe.

Stars applied the pressure in the closing stages of the match but were unable to get past the packed AmaZulu defence and it was the home side who almost double their lead in the 90th minute but Bongani Ndulula fired straight at Mpontshane.

The second goal did eventually arrive in added time from a counter-attack when Goodman Dlamini broke through on the right and showed composure inside the box before burying his low shot into the back of the net.

AmaZulu (1) 2 (Dlamini G 8’ 90 +4’)

Platinum Stars 0

Teams:

AmaZulu: Mathibe, Mwedihanga, Nyadombo, Teyise, V Heerden, Madondo, Dlamini G, Manqana (Mvalo 90’), Mthiyane, Zondi (Zondi 72’), Dlamini A

Platinum Stars: Mpontshane, Semenya, Gumede, Mhlongo, Mpeta, Sarr, Ng'ambi, Ngele (Malokase 79’), Mbatha, Hadebe (Ngwepe 71’), Botes (Mthembu T 66’)