DURBAN — Platinum Stars lifted the MTN8 for the first time when they defeated fellow South African Premiership football side Orlando Pirates 3-1 on penalties at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw in open play after Thabo Matlaba had scored late in the second half of regulation time to cancel out Robert Ng’ambi’s opener.
However, it was Allan Freese’s side who kept their cool to prevail on penalties as Pirates were unable to convert three of their spot kicks.
Dikwena started the match brightly and came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute when Siphelele Mthembu collected the ball on the right side of the box, but his shot was deflected wide.
Pirates then started to dominate possession and had their first shot on target in the 21st minute when Kermit Erasmus collected the ball outside the box before unleashing a powerful strike which Siyabonga Mpontshane fumbled before gathering on his second attempt.
Three minutes later, Erasmus produced a great turn on the left before drilling the ball across goal, but this time his effort was deflected over the crossbar.
Erasmus continued to cause problems for Stars and on the half hour mark went on a solo run on the left before cutting inside to switch the ball to his right foot, only to send his strike over the crossbar.
The Buccaneers continued to pile on the pressure and in the 39th minute Tlou Segolela found Happy Jele on the right corner of the box, but the fullback directed his low shot wide of the upright.
Roger De Sa’s men had two more chances to take the lead before the break, but Manyisa fired straight at Mpontshane in the 42nd minute, while Rooi Mahamutsa headed wide from Segolela’s corner in added time.
However, it was Dikwena who drew first blood two minutes into the second half when Ng’ambi headed home from close range after Tintswalo Tshabalala’s in-swinging free kick was flicked on at the near post.
Pirates had a chance to reply in the 50th minute when substitute Thabo Matlaba broke down the left flank before sending a teasing cross into the box, but Jele could only send his header over the crossbar.
Four minutes later Lennox Bacela did well to knock Matlaba’s cross down for Erasmus on the right, but the latter hesitated before shooting wide of the near post.