Johannesburg – A slick, never-say-die Platinum Stars stunned Mamelodi Sundowns to secure a creditable 2-1 win in the Telkom Knockout cup quarterfinal at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday night.
It was Sundowns who started with a flourish and opened the score in the 13th minute through a deflected ground shot sizzler from Togolese international Dove Wome.
The Brazilians squandered a handful of inviting opportunities of increasing their lead.
The frustrating hoodoo against Stars again surfaced uncannily after 23-year-old Botswana international midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele equalised with an impeccable, left-footed penalty kick in the 38th minute.
The penalty was awarded when Sundowns' Zambian international goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene needlessly blocked Siphelele Mthembu's charge for goal with the course of the match turning dramatically from this point.
Sundowns have now gone eight matches in all without a victory over the PSL's surprise packet team.
The much-travelled and unappreciated Mduduzi Nyanda was unlucky not to score in the first half with a scorching 35-metre angled shot from the left flank that thudded against the crossbar.
Nyanda, however, made no mistake while scoring the winning goal from close-range in the 70th minute after a shot from Mthembu was deflected into his path by a Sundowns defender.
Sundowns were unlucky not to secure an equaliser four minutes later when captain Alje Schut rose majestically to head the ball into the net following a raking 30-metre cross from the left wing.
The decision to rule Schut off-side was only fractional and turned Sundowns' celebrations into undisguised frustration, with Stars continuing to remain cool and collected until the final whistle.
The game, however, almost never took place, with heavy rain before the kick-off flooding the pitch and threatening the prospect of a postponement.
The Moruleng Stadium pitch dried out remarkably well after the storm abated shortly before the scheduled 7pm kick-off.
The kick-off was delayed for 30 minutes, but the rain ultimately did not fall on Stars' victory parade.
The Rustenburg-based side defended calmly with unflinching courage and they looked dangerous with a succession of controlled counter-attacks that had Mweene in Sundowns' goal at full-stretch.
Sundowns were left rueing the opportunities they missed in the opening half when Wome, on two occasions, and Laffor could have added to their tally. – Sapa