Thapelo Tshilo (second from right, arms outstretched) celebrates scoring the only goal for Polokwane City against Platinum Stars. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

Polokwane City got their first league win of 2017 as they outplayed Platinum Stars 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match played at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.

A 28th-minute strike by defender Thapelo Tshilo was the difference between the two sides on a day that the hosts made more headlines off the field than on it.

The news came through that City’s former coach Luc Eymael had been ordered by the PSL Resolution Chamber to return to the Limpopo club to complete the two-and-a-half years remaining of his contract.

The Belgian recently had a fall-out with the City chairman, and left the club to coach relegation-haunted Bloemfontein Celtic.

City took to the field without their suspended striker Esau Kanyenda and with leading marksman Rodney Ramagalela closely marked, the hosts had to work hard to create scoring opportunities.

Tshilo’s strike ended a barren run of form for the Polokwane side, who had gone 10 league games without a win, and had tallied up 13 league draws in their 24 matches this season.

The visitors’ Malawian midfielder Robert Ng’ambi was more than a handful for City to contend with in the middle of the park, with the home team’s rearguard doing well to restrict the visitors’ raids on the City goal.

Stars went into the match off the back of their 3-0 win over Ivory Coast side Tanda FC in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday, which saw the men from Rustenburg advance to the next round 3-2 on aggregate.

But the hectic football schedule of late has taken its toll on Cavin Johnson’s men. They find themselves just above the relegation zone, with 25 points from 24 matches, just four points off the last-placed team.

While City, now with 31 points from 24 matches, will be looking to enhance their chances of a top eight league finish when they host Golden Arrows in their next encounter next Wednesday, Stars will turn their attention to Nedbank Cup action when they visit Arrows in quarter-final action on Saturday.

African News Agency (ANA)