Rustenburg - Platinum Stars have been dealt a blow in their bid for a maiden Absa Premiership title when they were held 1-1 by relegation-threatened Chippa United on Saturday afternoon. Dikwena led early through Robert Ng’ambi, who also hit the crossbar late on, but were pegged back by a goal from Andile Mbenyane that keeps the visitors’ hopes of surviving the drop alive. Stars are now three points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs but have played a game more, while Chippa United are three points from the safety of 14th place but have also played a game more than Ajax Cape Town. Ng’ambi put Stars ahead inside four minutes when he headed home a free-kick from Thuso Phala and they might have had a penalty too when Rudiger Gilbert appeared to foul Lindokuhle Mbatha in the box. Referee Daniel Bennett waved play-on. Benjani Mwaruwari forced debutante Stars goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe into a fine save, while at the other end Thuso Phala saw his effort cleared off the line by Vuyisile Ntombayithethi. Chippa equalised midway through the second half and it was a soft goal to concede from the home side’s point of view. William Twala’s cross from the right found an unmarked Mbenyane and he had the simplest of headers to bring Chippa level. Ng’ambi was inches away from restoring the home side’s lead when he connected with Vuyo Mere’s cross, but his header came back off the crossbar, while Mogakolodi Ngele fired wide with the last chance of the game. Both teams will be involved in crunch clashes next up, Stars travel to league leaders Kaizer Chiefs on April 28, while Chippa have a relegation six-pointer against Ajax Cape Town the day before.