Platinum Stars beat Golden Arrows 1-0
Posted: 14 March 2012 Time: 21:39
Golden Arrows plummeted to 14th, one spot above the relegation zone, after a single goal from Thusa Phala handed Platinum Stars a 1-0 win on Wednesday.
The first 45 minutes was not a half of pretty football, but instead one that underlined the toughness and not too often seen viciousness of the PSL.
Before the half was out we would see four yellow cards and one straight dismissal in a stanza characterised by hard-tackling and never say die attitudes from both teams.
The battle in the midfield raged on as both sides tried to take control of the game, but neither could really gain the ascendancy which resulted in a scrappy affair and some miss-timed tackles.
Consequently, decent chances on goal were few and far between, but Robyn Johannes should really haven given Arrows the lead in the 13th minute.
Johannes was able to latch onto a loose ball in a goalmouth scramble, but the Abafana Bes’thende man fired agonisingly wide from six yards out.
Musa Bilankulu also squandered a chance for the visiting side in the 16th minute when he rose highest to meet a Dillon Sheppard free-kick, but he missed the target.
Dikwena's only real chance of the half came in the 23rd minute when Phala provided a great ball to find Joseph Malongoane unmarked on the edge of the 18-yard box. His shot, however, lacked the quality of the build-up play as he fired inches wide of the right post.
The talking point of the half occurred in the 39th minute when Ntsikelelo Nyauza was shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle on Thamsanqa Mkhize.
The referee did not hesitate in sending the player from the field in what can only be deemed as an extremely dangerous tackle.
Following the loss of Nyauza, Platinum Stars defended in their numbers and managed to get to the half-time break all square.
Dikwena caught the visitors by surprise when they took the lead five minutes into the second 45.
Botes provided a great pass to find Phala unmarked on the edge of the 18-yard box and the Stars' man made no mistake with a clinical finish into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
After that, however, it was a case of throwing all 10 men behind the ball as Platinum Stars tried to protect their lead while weathering attack after attack from Golden Arrows.
Second half substitute Katlego Mashego was particularly threatening for Arrows, and in the 56th minute Mabokgwane displayed his acrobatics to deny Mashego when he flung himself across his goal to tip a powerful 25-yard shot around the post.
Six minutes later and this time the reflexes of Mabokgwane were called into question, but yet again he passed with flying colours as he denied Mashego from just inside the box with a save low and to his left.
Try as they might the Arrows attack could not break down a stubborn Stars defence as the Dikwena held on for a vital 1-0 win. A win which sees them jump to 12th on the Premiership table while Arrows plummet to 14th.