Stars move up to third
Innocent Mkhabela (Gallo Images)
Pietermaritzburg - Platinum Stars have moved up to third in the Absa Premiership with a 1-0 success over Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday night.
It is a seventh win in eight games for in-form Dikwena, who achieved the success without two of their stalwarts this season in the suspended Vuyo Mere and injured Benson Mhlongo.
Innocent Mkhabela powered home a header for the only goal on the game in the second half, just moments after the home side had been reduced to 10 men following the sending off of Mohamed Awal.
The visitors would end the game with a man less too as Sibusiso Msomi got his marching orders, but they were able to comfortably hold on for the win.
The home side had the better of the first half chance, Delron Buckley and Awal forcing saves from Siyabonga Mpontshane in the Stars goal. Cuthbert Malajila also fired over for Maritzburg when well placed.
The key period of the game came on 50 minutes when Awal was sent-off for a challenge on Tintswalo Tshabalala and just moments later Stars were ahead.
Patrick Malokase delivered the corner and Mkhabela headed home for his third of the season.
There was just one side in it after that, but after Mkhabela, Malokase and Msomi had all forced fine saves from Shu-Aib Walters in the home goal, they were given some nervy moments as Msomi received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
But they were able to hold on for an excellent away win and coach Cavin Johnson will be pleased too with the clean-sheet, their sixth this season.
Next up for Maritzburg is a trip to Cape Town to face Ajax on Friday, while Stars are at home to Lamontville Golden Arrows a day later.Scores:
Maritzburg United 0
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Mkhabela 52’)Teams:
Maritzburg: Walters, Matuka, Awal, M Booysen, Cloete, Hendricks, Morton, Yende (Zulu 78’), Buckley, Mandaza (Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi 46’), Malajila
Stars: Mpontshane, Semenya, Mkhabela, Gumede, Mpeta, Tshabalala, Msomi, Mathe, Ngele (Mbatha 65’), Malokase (Ng’ambi 73’), Botes (S Mthembu 80’)