Platinum Stars and Santos tie
Posted: 18 December 2010 Time: 17:41
Platinum Stars were able to continue their four game unbeaten run when a late goal from Thusa Phala saw them earn a point after a 1-1 draw with Santos in an Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes saw no team really establish themselves as the superior outfit. Instead, it was a half where both teams struggled to find their rhythm because of some poor passing and bad decisions in the final third of the field.
Still, when it came down to the crunch Santos took one of their very rare chances in front of goal and went into the half time break with a one goal lead.
One of the better aspects of the match, though, was the commitment and dedication of the players on the field. The midfield battle was ferocious and that was partly responsible for neither side being able to find their flow and made for a sloppy opening stanza.
The home side only really had one chance in goal in the first half and that came in the 24th minute. Lehlohonolo Thebakang let fly with a powerful shot from about 20-yards out, but his effort sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
In the 38th minute of the half Santos started to find their feet somewhat and were able to make the Stars keeper work.Tony Tsabedze called Tapiwa Kapini into action with a well-driven shot from roughly 25-yards out, but the keeper made a comfortable save.
Five minutes later and Kapini would have no such luck when Bongi Macala handed Santos the lead. Macala rounded off a good passing move with a clinical finish, from just inside the 18-yard area, that found the bottom left-hand corner of the goal, 1-0.
The second half was not much better in terms of goal mouth action. Orlin Powell came close to doubling his side’s lead in the 62nd minute when his shot from just outside the 18-yard area sailed over the crossbar.
Stars, although chasing the game, produced very little in the way of attack until the 77th minute when Thuso Phala drew his side back onto level terms with Santos.
It was a great solo effort from Phala who beat two defenders on his way into the box before he unleashed a wicked shot from six-yards out that found the back of the net, 1-1.
Thereafter, Stars went in search of the winner and applied mountains of pressure on the Santos goal. However, in the end the home side could not find the winner and the teams shared the spoils on the day.