Arrows end Stars' title hopes

2013-05-11 17:34
Gift Sithole (Gallo Images)
Durban - Lamontville Golden Arrows ensured their safety for next season and at the same time ended the title hopes of Platinum Stars after a 2-1 Absa Premiership victory at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.
It was a fantastic match that saw both sides play some open, entertaining football, but in the end the difference was probably the form of home goalkeeper Siya Mngoma, who made a number of outstanding saves.
Goals from Gift Sithole and Norman Smith gave Abafana Bes’thende the win, while Robert Ng’ambi gave his side hope late on by pulling a goal back.
The home team could even afford to miss a penalty when Musa Bilankulu skied his spot-kick high and wide late on.
The visitors actually started the brighter as Mngoma was forced into a good one-handed save from Mogakolodi Ngele of Stars, and then denied Enocent Mkhabela shortly afterwards.
But Arrows took the lead against the run of play when Nkanyiso Madonsela’s corner was headed home by Sithole.
Stars should have drawn level just before the break. Lindokuhle Mbatha’s shot hit the post, Sithole cleared Mthembu’s shot off the line and the striker put the second rebound over the bar from five yards with the goal gaping.
The visitors continued to dominate after the break, Phala's shot was saved by Mngoma, who then produced another point-blank stop to block Mthembu's header from the rebound.
But it was Arrows who found the second goal, as hesitant defending allowed Smith a shot on goal and he powered the ball home on the hour-mark.
It might have been 3-0 too. Bongi Ntuli found himself one-on-one with Dambe, but his curling shot flicked the outside of the post.
The home side were given the opportunity to extend their lead when Mkhabela fouled Ntuli in the penalty-area for a clear spot-kick. Bilankulu stepped up to take the penalty but skied his shot well high and wide.
Stars pulled one back with six minutes to play, Mngoma missed his punch from a Mere cross and Ng’ambi blasted the ball home.
Both these sides have one game remaining, Golden Arrows travel to Ajax Cape Town on the final day of the season, while Stars host SuperSport United.
Lamontville Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Sithole 10, Smith 60)
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ng’ambi 84)
Arrows: Mngoma, Sikhakhane, Sithole, Bilankulu, Tom, Liphoko (Mkhize 80’), Madonsela (Hadebe 68’), Musonda, Nene, Nguzana (Ntuli 46’), Smith
Stars: Dambe, Mere, Gumede, Mkhabela, Ngwepe, Phala, Mbatha (T Mthembu 72’), Ng'ambi, Mathe, Ngele (Msomi 59’), S Mthembu

Read more on:    platinum stars  |  golden arrows  |  durban  |  soccer

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