Johannesburg – Chippa United put a dent in the title hopes of league chasers Platinum Stars, as the tenacious rookies fought back to secure a 1-1 draw in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Saturday.
“We started well, and scored early, but then we went to sleep and allowed them back into the game,” said Stars coach Cavin Johnson.
“I don't think we played good football today.”
Dikwena, chasing their fourth straight victory, were held off by the log-bottom Absa Premiership newcomers, who kept them on their toes.
Malawian international Robert Ngambi put Stars, who were four points behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs ahead of the weekend fixtures, in control early on, charging in to net a well-placed header in the fifth minute.
Dikwena had a host of chances in the opening period, with Thuso Phala perhaps fluffing their best opportunity when he lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Tashrique Goldman but was chased down by the Chippa defence.
Stars had a couple more close attempts in the second half, with Mogakolodi Ngele drawing a magnificent diving save from Goldman in the 53rd minute, and Ngambi hitting the crossbar from a header with 17 minutes left in the match.
Chippa hit back midway through the second stanza when Andile Mbenyane climbed high to score the equaliser and save a point for his team.
“This is a massive point for us,” said new Chippa coach Mark Harrison.
“In the first half we were poor, and we gave away a silly goal early on, but I think we were better in the second half.
“If we can start like that, we'll have a chance.” – Sapa