Black Aces and Stars share spoils

Mpumalanga Black Aces and Platinum Stars played to a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday night.

Themba Zwane had the home side ahead on the half-hour mark, but Stars hit back before halftime when Ofentse Nato scored into his own net.

It is a result that will not please either coaches.

Stars went into the match with the better record between the two teams with two wins and two draws from their five previous games, with no defeats since 2009.

Both teams had a familiar look about them, with Stars coach Allan Freese preferring Henrico Botes up front from the start, while Jackson Mabokgwane was preferred in goals for the home side over Bafana Nhlapo.

Black Aces made the brighter start. Tendai Ndoro headed wide while Mabhuti Khenyeza saw his effort saved by visiting goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Khenyeza though he should have had a penalty on 17 minutes after being felled in the area, but the referee waved play on.

The home side had the better of the territory and possession stakes in the opening half-hour and got their reward when Zwane netted.

He picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and rifled the ball home for a fantastic finish.

Just over 10 minutes later and the visitors were level when Nato turned the ball into his own net under little pressure.

Mabokwane had to react smartly to deny Tintswalo Tshabalala from a free-kick in what was a less frenetic second half.

Abia Nale had a good headed chance to steal the points late on, but his effort was straight at Mpontshane and easy for the goalkeeper to make the stop.

Next up for Black Aces is an away trip to Lamontville Golden Arrows on Wednesday, while Platinum Stars host Kaizer Chiefs on the same evening.

Mpumalanga Black Aces (1) 1 (Zwane 30)

Platinum Stars (1) 1 (Nato 41og)

Black Aces: Mabokgwane, Mabaso, Mwanjali, Nato, Ngalo, Timm, Zwane, Nale, Qalinge, Ndoro, Khenyeza (Mbuyane 57) [Mulenga 64).

Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Semenya, Mpeta, Mathe, Ng'ambi, Tshabalala (Makudubela 61), Mbatha, Mhlongo, Botes (S Mthembu 73).