Stars parked the bus - Freese

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iol spt aug3 Stars Gallo Images Platinum Stars boss Allan Freese says his team sat back and defended their 2-0 lead over Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Pretoria – Platinum Stars boss Allan Freese says his team sat back and defended their 2-0 lead over Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday, but jokingly suggested Stars also occasionally took the game to their opponents.

Early goals from Vuyo Mere and Ndumiso Mabena put the game just about out of reach for Sundowns by the time the half-time whistle sounded, setting up a famous first round victory over Sundowns in the MTN8.

“Yes, in the second half we did defend. People will say tomorrow that we parked the bus. But the strategy was to park it, put the driver in and go forward quickly,” Freese said afterwards.

“The wheels of the bus weren’t taken off, you saw the bus also moving forward a little bit.”

Parking the bus is a term Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has little time for, infamously bemoaning Polokwane City’s tactics last season, when City shocked Sundowns 1-0 in October, by sitting back and packing their defence in order to keep out their fancy-footed opponents.

“We knew in the second half that Sundowns were going to come at us and we had to defend properly.”

Teko Modise gave some relief to the home crowd when he managed to reduce the deficit and bagged a goal from the set-piece, following a defensive lapse which cost Mpontshane a clean-sheet.

But that would be where the celebrations ended for Sundowns, who bow out and will have to focus their attention elsewhere.

For Freese and his Rustenburg outfit, a solid victory to kick-off their campaign, despite losing a host of stalwarts to fellow Premiership teams, which included Henrico Botes, Benson Mhlongo, Issa Sarr, Mbatha and Ngele.

“It happens every season. There are some players you cannot keep for other reasons but we tried to bring in players to fill in those positions where players were lost,” Freese added.

“We’ve lost players, we brought in players and I’m happy that we won because the guys that are here, it gives them confidence going forward.” Dikwena now have an anxious wait until Monday’s 12.30pm draw to see who they face next, but Freese says he and his team have nothing to fear.

“There’s no secret behind the team. Whenever we play in a competition we always say that we would like to be in the next round.

“Whatever game we play in the competition, we’d like to be in the draw for the next round.” – Sapa

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