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Stars receive early Christmas present

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Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson.

Pretoria – Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson believes his players have grown in confidence this season, which has led to the Rustenburg outfit sitting third on the Premiership standings.

“We take it one game at a time and we try to play as well as we can in each game,” Johnson said after his side's eighth win from their last nine league fixtures.

“They (the players) now believe that they can play this game of football. These players love this game and their hard work has paid off.”

Stars beat SuperSport United 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.

They have subsequently won the second quarter of the Premier Soccer League's new Q-innovation initiative after finishing top of the second quarter standings.

“Winning the second quarter of the Q-innovation means we have an early Christmas present,” Johnson said.

Trailing log leaders Kaizer Chiefs by a single point, Johnson believed the team would grow from strength-to-strength as the Premiership campaign moved ahead.

One fixture remained before the league took a break for next year's Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

“If we keep up our progress and we maintain our form going forward, who knows where we could end up? I am very proud of my players' performance against a strong United team.”

A second-half Henrico Botes penalty handed Platinum Stars their 10th Premiership victory of the season, after Matsatsantsa's skipper Thabo September handled the ball inside his own penalty area.

Dikwena's victory extended their unbeaten league run to four matches, while United suffered their second defeat of the season.

Johnson, however, warned that Stars could not afford to become complacent.

“We have done well, but as we have seen in the past, a winning team has a lot to lose,” he said.

“The players understand that the league is tough, but we want to keep up the pressure and keep up our performances.”

In Saturday's other results, Chiefs were held to a 1-1 draw by the University of Pretoria, and Mamelodi Sundowns continued their progress up the table with a 2-0 victory over Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg.

Chippa United and AmaZulu shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in Cape Town, while Free State Stars defeated Black Leopards 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

On Friday, Orlando Pirates beat Maritzburg United 2-1 in Port Elizabeth to keep the pressure on Chiefs. – Sapa


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