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No starry-eyed night for Platinum, Free State

PSL

RUSTENBURG – There wasn’t all that much to enthuse over as Platinum Stars and Free State Stars played to a rather drab 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership fixture at the Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday night.

Platinum got off to a quick start and had the first opportunity on goal. The chance accrued to Benson Shilongo, but the attacker fired his shot wide.

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Henrico Botes scored the opening goal for Platinum Stars on Wednesday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePixNhlanhla Vilakazi grabbed the equaliser for Free State Stars. Photo: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

But, having gave notice of their offensive intention, it was no surprise when the Rustenburg-based side took the lead in the 10th minute. Gerald Phiri swung in a delightful free kick and Namibian striker Henrico Botes was at hand to steer in the header.

But Stars weren’t about to just capitulate and they rattled back quickly. Eight minutes later, it was all square at 1-1 thanks to a clever curler from Nhlanhla Vilakazi.

For the rest of the half, play was tight and compact, with all the action restricted to dour midfield battles. Platinum did have another inviting opportunity, but Vuyo Mere’s effort was tipped over the bar by Stars goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni.

Platinum kicked off the second half in the ascendancy, with Phiri having a shot blocked.

Stars, though, continued to be resolute in defence and it resulted in Platinum’s coach Cavin Johnson going to his bench to try to find a solution. Off came Gift Links and on trooped Sibusiso Msomi. Minutes later, Johnson made another substitution, bringing on Ndumiso Mabena for Shilongo.

With Free State having clearly decided to settle for a point, the home side found it extremely tough to break the opposition down.

Johnson then had a final throw of the dice when he brought on the experienced Abia Nale for Phiri, but not even that could bring out the desired result, which was to find a way through the stubborn Stars defence.

So, in the end, after a rather scrappy encounter, a draw was a fair reflection of the action on offer.

African News Agency (ANA)

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