Platinum Stars fifth on the table

Platinum Stars will end 2013 fifth in the Absa Premiership table after a deserved 2-0 victory over ACape Town at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.

First half goals from Solomon Mathe and Robert Ng’ambi sealed the win for Dikwena, who are five points behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Ajax coach Muhsin Ertugral again started with Nathan Paulse up front with Eleazar Rodgers on the bench, though the latter would be introduced after half-an-hour as the Urban Warriors switched to two up front.

Lance Davids also returned for the home side in the heart of the midfield after some time on the sidelines.

Stars were without stalwart Benson Mhlongo, who did not recover from flu in time to travel to the Mother City, with his place in the heart of the defence taken by Thabiso Semenya.

Ajax had more of the ball in the opening stages, but failed to unduly trouble Sitabonga Mpontshane in the Dikwena goal and it was the visitors who took the lead midway through the first half.

Veteran Elias Ngwepe crossed from the left-wing and his ball was picked up on the right by Lindokuhle Mbatha, who cross low into the path of Mathe to fire home.

It was Mathe’s first goal in over two years and just reward for the fine season he is having.

Ajax had clearly not learned their lesson, because six minutes later and Stars scored an almost exact replica goal.

Ngwepe crossed from the left, Mbatha picked the ball up at the far post and laid it into the path of an on-rushing Ng’ambi to score.

That promoted Ertugral to play with two strikers and bring on Rodgers, who almost scored with his first kick, only for Mpontshane to tip the ball over the crossbar.

The second half saw little on goal-mouth action, Stars happy to soak up the pressure and hit Ajax on the break, while the home side battled to create anything clear-cut to trouble Mpontshane.

Next up for Ajax after their festive season celebrations are Orlando Pirates, who they will face on Monday, January 27. Platinum Stars next travel to Polokwane City on February 4

Ajax Cape Town 0

Platinum Stars (2) 2 (Mathe 24’, Ng’ambi 30’)

Ajax: Jaakolla, Hlatshwayo, Isaacs, Krjauklis, Jenniker, Davids (Mzawkali 63’), Manyama, Mobara, Alexander (Rodgers 31’), Dolly, Paulse (Morris 63’)

Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Semenya, Mpeta, Sarr, Ng'ambi (Nyanda 85’), Mathe, Mbatha (Malokase 87’), Ngwepe (Msomi 83’), S Mthembu