DURBAN – Platinum Stars came away with a much-needed point, holding AmaZulu to a 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership clash at a damp King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Saturday evening.
Despite emerging with a point in a vastly improved performance, Roger de Sa’s struggling Stars outfit, who led 1-0 at the break, remained rooted to the foot of the PSL table without a victory in six starts.
With SuperSport United having been involved in continental action this weekend in the Caf Confederation Cup, AmaZulu eclipsed the Tshwane side into seventh place.
After a feeling out period which produced few scoring opportunities, Botswana international Thabang Sisinya, in only his second game for his new club, put Stars ahead in the 19th minute with a booming left-footed strike into the top left corner from a pinpoint cross, which left Usuthu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha no chance.
The Rustenburg side could have extended their lead later in the half when a darting run from Sibongakonke Mbatha was parried by Mbatha for a corner.
Dikwena had clung to that fragile 1-0 lead until the 61st minute, but made the mistake of trying to close shop rather than take the game to their opponents and build on their lead.
But it was a stroke of cruel luck that let the hosts back into the game.
The ever-present Rhulani Manzini, who scored a brace in Usuthu’s 3-0 midweek victory over defending champions Bidvest Wits, launched a raid into the Stars box, turned on the angle and struck the arm of Willem Mwedihanga as the referee pointed straight to the spot.
Manzini struck the resultant spot-kick firmly past Stars keeper Mbongeni Mzimela. That proved to be the lift AmaZulu were looking for, and they dominated the final quarter as they went in search of maximum points.
Goal-scorer Manzini came close with a right-footed low drive which went wide of the right post, and Mhlengi Cele unleashed a powerful left-footed drive which drifted marginally wide of the right post late in the match.
African News Agency (ANA)