AmaZula, Stars share points
Bongani Mbele (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - An exciting second half saw Platinum Stars and AmaZulu play out to a thrilling 2-2 draw in an Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Despite a rather boring first 45 minutes the game came to life and the fans were ecstatic as they saw four goals in the second half. The players to find their names on the score sheet were Bongani Mbhele and Celani Vilane of AmaZulu and Lebo Ramolesa and Terremce Mandaza of Platinum Stars.
Stars, however, made their intentions clear from the first whistle as Thusa Phala let fly with an ambitious shot from about 30-yards in the second minute. His attempt, though, was a poor one and sailed over the crossbar.
Eleven minutes later and Stars managed to create their first decent chance of the game. Some good individual work by Mandaza saw him create some space for himself about 25-yards out from goal. He proceeded to fire a vicious shot goalwards, but Nhlanhla Khuzwayo was on hand to tip the effort around the post.
Mandaza was looking in menacing form and again pulled the best out of Khuzwayo in the 16th minute when he fired another shot goalwards from the edge of the 18-yard area, but again Khuzwayo produced another good save.
Stars continued to dominate the possession stakes, but were unable to create any other clear-cut chances on goal. AmaZulu, on the other hand, were virtually non-existent in the first half.
That, however, was not the case in the second half as the Usuthu announced themselves in the game when Bongani Mbhele opened the scoring in the 50th minute. Ayanda Dlamini created the chance with an accurate pass that found Mbhele unmarked inside the box and he made no mistake firing the ball home, 1-0.
AmaZulu’s lead, though, didn’t last long as Stars quickly hit back five minutes later with Lebo Ramolesa. Phala whipped in an inviting corner-kick and Ramolesa rose highest to powerfully head the ball into the back of the net, 2-0.
Thereafter, the game opened up quite a bit and the fans only had to wait another 13 minutes before they saw the games third goal.
AmaZulu took the lead for the second time when Siboniso Gumeded knocked a free-kick into the 18-yard area. After Stars failed to clear the danger Celani Vilane quickly latched onto the loose ball and slotted it past the keeper, 2-1.
Thereafter, Stars frantically went in search of an equaliser for the second time in the game and managed to find it in the 82nd minute. Again the goal came from a set-piece when Joseph Mkalipa curled in a testing corner-kick. Mandaza rose above the AmaZulu defence to head the ball home, 2-2.
That is the way the game ended and Stars will be bitterly upset they didn’t convert their first half dominance into goals.
Platinum Stars (0) 2 (Ramolesa 56’, Mandaza 82’)
AmaZulu (0) 2 (Mbhele 50’, Vilane 69)
Stars: Mpontshane, Mofokeng, Mpangase, Mkalipa, Thebakang (Lobo 90’), Kgatla, Nyanda, Ramolesa (Malongoane 72’), Phala, Williams (Coetzee 80’), Mandaza
AmaZulu: Khuzwayo, Gumede, Bishop, Bukasa, Sangweni, Mbhele, Sikhakhane, Ngxabi, Dlamini (Vilane 58’), Majoro (Ngwenya 78’), Shongwe (Mabaso 89’).