Usuthu take the points
Posted: 19 August 2009 Time: 22:39
AmaZulu claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Platinum Stars in Rustenburg on Wednesday evening.
The win leaves Neil Tovey's men with four points from two matches and they will be in good spirits when they visit unpredictable Maritzburg United in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby next week.
This game saw the return of South African football's prodigal son Mbulelo Mabizela as captain in the heart of the defence, even though he was yellow-carded for an overzealous tackle in the 57th minute.
Stars were the ones to settle first as they created numerous chances. Most of their forays came from the left flank, where Dillon Sheppard delivered dipping crosses which were dealt with by the opposition's defence that was marshalled by their captain Pere Ariweriyari.
Stars came close to opening the scoring just after the half-hour mark when, after a neat move that involved about five of their players, Alton Meiring watched in disappointment when his thunderous close-range shot went agonisingly over the crossbar.
AmaZulu had their moments on attack, but there was nothing notable to beat Stars goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
To their credit, AmaZulu maintained their shape in the midfield and defended well at the back, denying Stars the chance to score.
For the second half, Stars coach Steve Komphela introduced Stanley Kgatla for Godfrey Sapula and talented youngster Thabiso Monareng on the wing for the ineffective Jabu Mahlangu, but the move had little effect on the game as they could not influence the game into Stars' favour.
AmaZulu made a surging run into Stars’ penalty box through Ayanda Dlamini, who was thwarted by Mabizela with a diving tackle, but from the resultant corner-kick, Lita Ngxabi drilled home a loose ball.
In the 77th minute, AmaZulu could have increased their lead when Dlamini beat Stars’ off-side trap, but failed to beat Sandilands, who moved off his line to clear the danger.
Stars pushed hard for an equaliser, but to no avail as Usuthu hung on for the points.
they could not force the equalising goal as they remain among the bottom teams on the log with only point to show for their troubles after two games.