Dikwena sink Leopards to reach quarters

A goal in each half from Tintswalo Tshabalala and Henrico Botes handed Platinum Stars a place in the quarterfinal of the Nedbank Cup as they beat Black Leopards 2-0 in a Last 16 match at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.

The first 45 minutes saw Platinum Stars playing the better football as they passed the ball around the park beautifully as they were able to hold onto possession.

Still, despite the Dikwena’s domination they only managed to take a one goal lead into the halftime break with a lot of their attempts on goal going wide or miraculous stopped by Azwindini Maphaha.

For Black Leopards, they looked like shadows chasing the ball and when in possession they struggled to hold onto it as they gifted it back to their opposition with some wasteful passing.

The home side’s keeper was called into action as early as the third minute, Maphaha producing a fine save to deny Tintswalo Tshabalala.

Seven minutes later and Mogakolodi Ngele found himself in a good goal scoring position, but he rushed his shot under not much pressure and his effort went wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

Leopards’ first attempt on goal came in the 17th minute as Mongezi Bobe let fly with a ferocious volley, but his effort failed to trouble the Platinum Stars goalkeeper as it went wide of the target.

The home side’s second effort on goal came seven minutes after their first, but this time while Brian Abbas Amidu found the target with his effort, Siyabonga Mpontshane pulled off a good save to deny him.

In the 30th minute Stars finally made their early pressure pay as Tshabalala found the back of the net after latching onto a loose ball inside the box, 1-0.

Thuso Phala nearly doubled his side’s lead in the 33rd minute, but he saw his superbly struck free-kick from just outside the box skim the wrong side of the upright as the match entered the halftime break with the away side in front.

The start of the second 45 saw Leopards playing more promising football and pushing numbers forward, but in doing so they left themselves exposed at the back.

Then in the 60th minute Leopards’ task was made all that more difficult when Henrico Botes doubled Platinum Stars lead with a cool finish, 2-0.

After scoring their second goal Stars took control of the game and killed it off by slowing the play down and holding onto the possession as they walked away 2-0 winners.

Black Leopards (0) 0
Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Tshabalala 30’, Botes 60’)

Leopards: Maphaha; Dzaga, Xakane, Khoza, Manaka, Ramagalela, Monama, Munganga, Mabusela, Amidu, Bobe

Stars: Mpontshane; Mpeta, Mhlongo, Gumede, Mere, Mkhabela, Ng'ambi, Ngele, Tshabalala, Phala, Botes