An extraordinary game of football at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night saw Platinum Stars scoring a 5-3 win over Vasco da Gama.
|George Mofokeng © Gallo Images
The result leaves the Parow-based side floundering just above the relegation, into which they could slip if Maritzburg beat Black Aces on Sunday.
The first half was a thrilling affair, with six goals and the regular interchanging of the lead.
Stars made a positive start to the game, with Bradley Grobler forcing Postnett Omony to tip the ball over the bar after two minutes.
But the Cape drew first blood soon afterwards, captain Keenin Lesch heading home Aidan Jenniker’s fifth minute corner kick.
Their joy was short-lived however as Stars replied within five minutes – Phelelani Mpangase making it 1-1 when he got on the end of Thuso Phala’s free kick.
And two minutes later the dream start had turned to a nightmare for Vasco as Solomon Mathe gave Dikwena the lead just two minutes later, slotting home from Phala’s corner kick.
Vasco tried to fight back, but Lesch and then Cole Alexander were unsuccessful with their shots from the edge of the area.
However, with 31 minutes played, the home side were right back in the game when Sibusiso Zuma struck with a free kick from just outside the area.
And 10 minutes later the veteran underlined his importance to the team this season as he restored Vasco’s lead, heading home Jonathan Armogam’s weighted cross.
But amazingly, Stars were to hit back yet again, defender George Mofokeng netting from a corner kick just before the half time whistle.
Zeka Karkee slammed a shot just over the bar a minute into the second half, but after that it was Omony who was the busier of the two keepers as he dealt with several crosses into his box.
The home side suffered a set-back in the 65th minute when they were reduced to 10 men after Lesch was sent off for a hand ball – his second bookable offence.
Sensing the kill, Stars moved in with a vengeance and went 4-3 up in the 77th minute when Mduduzi Nyanda provided Grobler with a ball across the goalmouth, the Stars striker happily obliging from close range.
Grobler then grabbed his brace eight minutes later as he fired in a free kick to seal the win and put Stars clear of the relegation zone.
Vasco da Gama (3) 3 (Lesch 5’, Zuma 31’, 40’)
Platinum Stars (3) 5 (Mpangase 10’, Mathe 12’, Mofokeng 45’, Grobler 77’, 85’)
Vasco (4-4-2): Omony; Hempe (Santo 83’), Adams, Tsotetsi, Jenniker; Alexander, Karkee, Lesch, Armogam; Zuma, Ramatlhakwane (Kgafane 61’)
Stars (4-5-1): Kapini; Mpangase, Mofokeng, Sambu, Lobo; Phala (Msomi 65’), Nyanda, Mandaza (Mongalo 84’), Mathe, Oluwafeme; Grobler