Absa Premiership

Polokwane edge Highlands in five-goal thriller

2016-09-24 17:31
Thobani Mncwango (TEAMtalk)

Polokwane - Polokwane City were pushed all the way by a gallant Highlands Park before claiming a 3-2 win at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The first half provided some breathtaking action as Polokwane City twice went in front, only for Highlands Park to twice pull the game level.

The second half saw Rise and Shine a regular threat going forward and they were rewarded with a winner 22 minutes from time, and with it their first victory of the season.

It was the home side who drew first blood, Thobani Mncwango scoring in as early as the sixth minute after combining with Simphiwe Hlongwane.

The Lions of the North had chances through Jose Garcia, who fired wide, and Collins Mbesuma, who failed to find the mark with a header.

But Highlands were to restore parity on the half hour mark, Mbesuma doing the business from the penalty spot after Auguston Leonard had been fouled by Hlongwane.

The goal was Mbesuma's 100th in the PSL, the Zambian the fifth player to reach the milestone.

However, their joy was short-lived, visiting coach Allan Freese seeing his team going behind once more just four minutes later when Rodney Ramagalela played in Sipho Jembula to score.

There was however to be one more twist in the tale of what had been a dramatic and action-packed opening 45 minutes, Highlands Park once more restoring parity when Charlton Mashumba got on the end of an assist from Garcia to make it 2-2, five minutes before the break.

While there was a chance for Garcia after the restart, it was Rise and Shine who looked the more threatening side as the second half progressed.

There was an effort from Jabu Maluleke and a couple for Puleng Tloane as the Limpopo club showed their intentions of winning the game. And they were back in front in the 68th minute when Maluleke connected with the industrious Tloane's cross.

Polokwane City had a couple of chances to extend their lead, but Tlolane and then Ramagalela failed to hit the target.

The newly-promoted team fought valiantly in the closing stages of the game to try and salvage a point.

But Mbesuma headed wide from Brandon Theron's cross before Mashumba's free kick sailed into the stands, the Lions of the North unable to find a third goal as they tasted their second league defeat in three days after losing to Kaizer Chiefs midweek.

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