Platinum Relegated


AmaZulu FC edged out Platinum Stars 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.

As a result, Usuthu moved to eigth place on the league standings, while Dikwena remained 16th and they were relegated to the National First Division (NFD).

The visitors began the match brightly as they searched for an early goal which would have unsettled the Stars defence.

Jabulani Ncobeni and Butholezwe Ncube both tried their luck from range, but the AmaZulu duo missed the target within the first 15 minutes of the game.

It was an evenly balanced match, and Wangu Gome pulled the trigger from range in the 21st minute and he was denied by AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.

Dikwena then took of the match after the half-hour mark as they created chances in search of the opening goal.

Luvolwetho Mpeta was presented with a chance to shoot and he forced Mbatha into a good save as relegation-threatened Stars piled pressure on the visitors.

The last chance of the first half fell for Bonginkosi Ntuli, who was also denied by in-form goal-minder Mbatha on the stroke of halftime.

AmaZulu then stood firm at the back and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

Stars continued to press AmaZulu after the restart, but they were frustrated by the visitors’ defence which was led by captain Tapelo Nyongo.

The visitors took a surprise lead when Ovidy Karuru headed home Sbusiso Mabiliso’s cross to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu in the 61st minute.

Ex-AmaZulu striker Ntuli then tried to haunt his former side 11 minutes later, but he was brilliantly denied by Mbatha, who was having a good game.

Stars were left vulnerable at the back when they pushed forward and they were punished by second-half substitute Mhlengi Cele.

Karuru set-up Cele, who beat Stars keeper Mbongeni Mzimela to make it 2-0 to AmaZulu with seven minutes left on the clock.

It was end-to-end stuff as second-half substitute Letsie Koapeng grabbed a late goal which proved to be a consolation goal as AmaZulu held on to their lead and they won 2-1 on the night.

Stars 1

Koapeng 86

AmaZulu 2

Karuru 61′, Cele 83′

Stars: Mzimela, Mere, Sithole, Mkhabela, Mpeta (Norodien 72′), De Jongh, Mekoa, Gome, Tshabangu, Senne (Phiri Jr 69′), Ntuli (Koapeng 82′).

AmaZulu: Mbatha, Mabiliso, Sikhakhane, Gumede P (Cele 65′), Nyongo, Ouro-Akoriko, Ncube, Mnguni, Ncobeni (Lumkwana 46′), Karuru, Khenyeza (Morton 71′).

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