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Olen Park
15/03/2009 15:30

Man of the Match Luis Renteria

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P Stars out-think Birds

Posted: 15 March 2009 Time: 17:51

Platinum Stars’ Bradley Grobler picked up the winning goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows at Olen Park on Sunday afternoon in an exciting Absa Premiership clash.

The first 45 minutes were evenly balanced, with both sides competing well for the ball in the midfield. There were very few chances for either side, however, as they struggled to break down the opposing defence.

The Birds did not really come out and attack, but instead attempted to play it safe, keeping it tight at the back and often giving ball possession away by booting the ball up-field.

Nevertheless, despite the Tycoons having most of the possession, they failed to make anything happen in front of goal. In fact, there were no clear-cut chances in front of goal for the entire first half.

The only sign of concern for Swallows was their goalkeeper, Tyron Damons, who often looked shaky when crosses came into his box; nervous and unable to deal with the aerial threat posed by Stars.

Miguel Gamondi obviously picked up on this, as it was clear that from the start of the second half that the Tycoons were going to attack down the flanks and get crosses into the box whenever they could.

And his tactics paid off in the 47th minute when, after a cross from the right and an aerial goalmouth scramble, Luis Renteria eventually got on the end of the loose ball with his head, sticking it into the back of the net from only four yards out, 1-0.

The goal seemed to wake the Birds up a bit, and they came back fighting, applying a period of sustained pressure on the Stars goal. They were rewarded for their efforts in the 59th minute when Shaun Haschick drew the two sides level with an expert finish 12 yards out to make it 1-1.

Mark Haskins nearly put his side in the lead five minutes later after a piece of individual brilliance. The Swallows player dribbled himself into the 18 yard box after skinning four Stars players, before unleashing a wickedly bending shot that struck the woodwork, much to his disappointment.

Swallows’s dominance was short lived, as Bradley Grobler put the Tycoons back into the lead in the 73rd minute. Once again, Damons was at fault as he failed to deal with a low cross and Grobler side-footed the ball into an empty net – 2-1.

The last 15 minutes were nervous for Stars, but they managed to hold onto their slender lead and picked up an important three points.

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