Stars stun Kaizer Chiefs
Rustenburg - The defending Telkom Knockout Champions were dumped out of this year’s competition when a former player in Thuso Phala handed Platinum Stars a 2-1 victory at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, scoring the winning goal in extra time.
While Chiefs were probably the better of the two sides throughout the entire 120 minutes of football action, failure to convert their pressure and dominance into goals cost them dearly.
Stars, though, did start the better of the two sides using the width of the pitch to pose Amakhosi some problems.
In the ninth minute Joseph Molangoane should really have given the home side the lead when Elias Ngwepe played him through on goal after a superb run down the left flank, but the Star attacker fired over from 12-yards out.
After that, however, it was all Chiefs who controlled the game with their fluid passing, but lack of imagination in the final third saw them shoot from long range but with little effect.
One such attempt came from Lucky Baloyi in the 28th minute after he beat a couple of defenders in the middle of the park before he unleashed a powerful shot from 22-yards out, but it went narrowly wide.
Then, in the 37th minute, very much against the run of play, the home side were able to take the lead when they hit on a swift counter-attack.
Sibusiso Msomi broke down the right flank and supplied the perfect cross to find Henrico Botes at the back post and the Platinum Stars striker made no mistake with a clinical volley from six-yards out, 1-0.
The second half was more of the same as Chiefs pressed forward in their numbers, but finally they were able to breach the Stars goal-line in the 62nd minute.
Siphiwe Tshabalala created the goal when he drove down the right flank, beating a couple of defenders before unselfishly laying the ball off to an unmarked Sthembiso Ngcobo who calmly passed the ball into the back of the net, 1-1.
Neither side really pressed forward following the equalising goal and it made for a dull final half hour as the game moved into extra time.
Extra time was also a rather boring affair as both teams looked exhausted, but one man had enough energy to right his name in the headlines when Thuso Phala scored the winning goal in the 104th minute.
Substitute Terrance Mandaza put Phala behind the Chiefs defence with a great through ball. Phala, though, still had plenty of work to do as he drove towards the goal from about 40-yards out and as he made his way into the box, Bartman came off his line and the Platinum Stars man powered the ball past him to win the match 2-1.
Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Botes 37’, Phala 104’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Ngcobo 62’)
Stars: Mpontshane; Mere, Sambu, Semenya, Ngwepe, Molangoane (Ramolesa 77’), Mkhabela, Phala, Thebekang (Ng’ambi 75’), Msomi, Botes (Mandaza 98’)
Chiefs: Bartman, Tau, Sweswe, Lawler (Isaacs 46’), Jambo, Letsholonyane (Majoro 55’), Baloyi, Nengomasha, Lebese (Nale 68’), Tshabalala, Ngcobo