Cape Town - Platinum Stars battled bravely with 10 men to pick up all three points at home against SuperSport United. Matsatsantsa will rue a raft of missed chances as they failed to make their extra man count.
In clear conditions on a lush green surface at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, both sides came out to play with a lot of energy and tempo. SuperSport United's central-midfield three of Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Michael Morton and Dean Furman initially helped United take control.
Jeremy Brockie had a great chance to score in the seventh minute but he hit his driven shot from an angle straight at Mbongeni Mzimela. Stuart Baxter's men were pressurising Stars' goal in the early stages but failed to capitalise. Letsholonyane was proving to be a real livewire in midfield but Robert Ng'ambi was also catching the eye.
He had a chance to score in the 14th minute but he sliced his effort wide. Cavin Johnson will believe his
team should've taken the lead in the 19th minute when Gregory Mabena fired a shot inches wide of Ronwen Williams' goal.
It was proving to be game for the goalkeepers and Williams did well to save a Henrico Botes diving header in the 24th minute.
It was the turn of Mzimela to once again deny Brockie as he saved the striker's effort in the 29th minute.
Morgan Gould, who was making his first start since returning to United, made a goal-saving tackle on Mabena.
There were no major scares for the rest of the first period as both defences saw off any danger.
SuperSport came out after the break and started to play with real purpose. After a bright passing move orchestrated by the impressive Letsholonyane, United won a corner. From the set-piece a headed clearance found Dean Furman and his fizzing volleyed effort from outside the box was saved superbly by Mzimela.
The match took a major turning point in the 53rd minute when defender Sphamandla Mlilo was sent off following a second yellow card for a foul on Bradley Brobler. Matsatsantsa started to dominate possession and began to pour forward with real intent.
Stars were relying on counters and it would pay off as they would take the lead from a Ng'ambi header in the 61st minute.It was a rare foray forward but Ng'ambi's header from a free-kick handed Stars the advantage against the run of play.
SuperSport will probably feel they should have equalised in the 65th minute when Grobler miscued Thuso Phala's cross into the hands of Mzimela - it was a chance he will likely feel he should have scored. A 70th minute free kick from distance was also blazed wide by Grobler.
Stuart Baxter's side cut Dinaledi apart in the 71st minute with Brockie putting a cross on to Grobler's head. From his knockdown, Thabo Mnyamane's header bounced just wide with Mzimela beaten.
Letsholonyane had a chance inside the box to equalise but fired his effort well over the bar in injury time.
Johnson's side saw out the closing stages with no more alarms as stars picked up a hard-earned three points at home.