Stars edge United in Atteridgeville

Pretoria -

Henrico Botes netted a second-half penalty as Platinum Stars narrowed the gap on the Premiership front runners with a 1-0 victory against SuperSport United in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.

Photo by Steve Haag / Gallo Images. Credit: Steve Haag Gallo Images

Dikwena's victory extended their unbeaten league run to four matches, drawing them level with second-placed Orlando Pirates, though they remained third on goal difference.

After a quiet opening period, Botes was in with the first opportunity of the encounter when he missed a header from close-range, firing narrowly wide to the right.

Nine minutes later, Mogakolodi Ngele made an audacious attempt at goal from outside the United area, with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams making a routine save to deny the visitors the opener.

Stars continued to press and were awarded a free-kick in the 35th minute after a foul by Lucas Thwala on Mogakolodi Ngele. Thuso Phala dispatched his shot goalwards, but Williams made another solid save to keep the scores level heading into the break.

The hosts had their best chance of the half in the 44th minute, when Ashley Hartog got his shot away from inside Stars' area, but he saw his effort saved by keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

The second stanza started much the same as the first, with neither side looking to create many scoring opportunities, while both teams remained cautious in defence.

Stars finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when United skipper Thabo September gave away a penalty after he was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

Botes stepped up and converted the penalty, beating Williams and slotting into the bottom left of goal.

With 10 minutes left to play, United's Mabhuti Khenyeza saw his effort from the left of the penalty area miss to the right, leaving a frustrated United outfit trailing as the game approached the final whistle.

Two minutes later, Sibusiso Zuma came close to levelling matters, but he was thwarted by Mpontshane, who kept Stars' advantage intact. - Sapa

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