Arrows annihilate Tycoons
Richard Henyekane hit the top of the Absa Premiership goal scorers’ chart and helped Golden Arrows up to fifth place on the log with a stunning hat-trick in his side’s 6-0 win over Platinum Stars at Olen Park on Wednesday evening.
The striker moved to 14 goals, one ahead of Ajax Cape Town’s Mabhuti Khenyeza, after spearheading Abafana Bes’thende’s biggest win of the 2008/09 season. The result is also sweet revenge for the KwaZulu-Natal team after exiting the Nedbank Cup at the hands of the Tycoons earlier this month.
Stars had two changes, both in defence, from the team that beat Moroka Swallows 2-1 on the weekend, with Michael Khaile and George Mofokeng replacing Lefa Mogaila and Daniel ‘Sailor’ Tshabalala.
Arrows themselves made three personnel switches from the side that lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday. Joseph Henyekane, Njabulo Manqana and Francis Kombe made way for Thokozani Mshengu, Tshepo Mashego and Richard Henyekane.
The elder Henyekane brother made an immediate impact on his return to the starting line-up, opening the scoring in the 12th minute. A long ball out of defence saw Mshengu show some great control before laying off a defence-splitting pass that allowed the speedy striker to stroke the ball past Tapuwa Kapini in the Stars goal.
On 36 minutes, Abafana Bes’thende hit Stars with a typical quick counter attack that resulted in a controversial second goal. Henyekane was put through and unselfishly played the ball across to Philani Shange to shoot on goal, with Kapini having been drawn off his line. The attacking midfielder, with only a retreating defender to beat, fired the ball onto the underside of the crossbar before it bounced away to safety.
Referee Daniel Bennett initially waved play on before conversing with his assistant on the touch line, who gave him the go ahead to award the goal. Television replays suggested that it was an incorrect decision, and Stars, quite rightly, felt hard done by to be 2-0 down.
Things got even worse for the hosts just before half time when Henyekane scored twice within the space of a couple of minutes. First, he stole the ball from Kapini before firing a shot between the legs of Mofokeng on the goal line to make it 3-0, and he then took advantage of some pathetic marking to complete a remarkable hat-trick and put his side four goals up at the break.
Stars went on the attack early in the second half, with coach Miguel Gamondi sending on Henrico Botes and Thabiso Monareng for Joel Luphahla and Oscar Ntwagae within seven minutes of the restart, but it didn’t stop Arrows scoring a fifth just before the hour mark.
A lovely passing move saw Henyekane turn provider, as he slipped a pass to his right for Mashego to fire home a low shot from just inside the penalty area. Once again the marking from Stars’ central defenders left a lot to be desired.
The home side, as if they weren’t suffering enough, were reduced to ten men with just under 20 minutes to play when Mofokeng picked up his second yellow card of the night.
With Mofokeng dismissed and Ntwagae substituted, it left Stars without any central defenders on the pitch. Arrows took advantage of the hosts’ depleted backline late in the game when Bheka Phakathi scored an absolute beauty to add to the already emphatic score line.
Platinum Stars (0) 0
Golden Arrows (4) 6 (R. Henyekane 12’ 44’ 45’, Shange 36’, Mashego 58’, Phakathi 88’)
Stars: Kapini, Khaile, Mofokeng, Ntwagae (Monareng 52’), Sheppard, Luphahla (Botes 46’), Williams, Kgatla, Ramokala, Renteria (Manenzhe 78’), Grobler
Arrows: Khuzwayo, Phakhati, Sangweni, Masinga, Musonda, Mshengu (Mvalo 59’), Khuboni, N. Zothwane, Shange (Vilakazi 74’), R. Henyekane, Mashego (Manqana 63’)