Platinum Stars have moved out of the Absa Premiership’s relegation zone for the first time this season after claiming a 1-0 win over Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.
Bongi Ntuli’s goal handed Dikwena their first away win of the season and, combined with a draw between fellow strugglers Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town, saw them move to 13th place. Rise and Shine drop one spot to 14th.
Polokwane created the first clear chance of the match inside the opening 15 minutes, with Wiseman Maluleke firing a shot on target, only to be denied by a fine save from Stars goalkeeper Dino Visser.
Yet that proved to be the only major highlight of a first 45 minutes in which neither team was able to really take control of the game. City enjoyed plenty of the ball and looked to Jabulani Maluleke to direct traffic from midfield, but even he allowed his frustration to get the better of him when he was booked for a nasty challenge on 25 minutes.
The game desperately needed a goal and fortunately it arrived early in the second half, with Stars’ Bongi Ntuli taking advantage of some slack defending from the hosts to put his side 1-0 up.
Polokwane looked to take control of the game after going behind and they were aided by Dikwena’s decision to try and defend their lead. Yet the hosts, as was the case in the first half, struggled to create scoring opportunities.
A few minutes past the hour mark Rise and Shine coach Bernard Molekwa looked to add a new dimension to his attack by introducing Walter Musona from the bench, but Stars’ defence remained comfortable and were able to keep the hosts at bay.
Both teams will be in league action again on Saturday, with City hosting Bidvest Wits, while Stars will welcome Kaizer Chiefs to Rustenburg.
Polokwane City 0
Platinum Stars 1
City: Chigova, Maponyane, Tshilo, Semenya, Hlongwane, Seabi, W. Maluleke, J. Maluleke (Musona 64’), Ndou, Tlolane, Ramagalela
Stars: Visser, Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Sithole, Zulu, Mere, Masalesa, Ng’ambi, Msomi, Otladisa (Nyanda 66’), Ntuli (Matlakala 84’)