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Bidvest Stadium
24/09/2013 19:30
Platinum Stars win 6 - 3 on aggregate

Ng'ambi brace sends Dikwena through

Posted: 24 September 2013 Time: 19:03

Platinum Stars will face Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 Final in Durban this weekend following a 2-1 victory against Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg on Tuesday night which saw them through 6-3 on aggregate.

The Students were up against it from the start following their 4-2 first leg defeat in Rustenburg last month, and Robert Ng’ambi’s brace meant there was to be no upset at Bidvest Stadium.

However, Wits were ready to fight for it and totally dominated the first 45 minutes, but without really creating any clear-cut chances.

Onismor Bhasera, making his debut for the club, had an early volley flash wide, before Stars goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane misjudged Sipho Mngomezulu’s cross-cum-shot, tipping the ball onto his crossbar and out for a corner.

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Siyabonga Nhlapo then rifled a shot wide on the quarter-hour mark before Stars had their first effort on a target; a speculative shot from Vuyo Mere which Moeneeb Josephs easily held onto.

Mpontshane was more secure in dealing with Sibusiso Vilakazi’s low curling effort, before again coming up trumps in blocking Ryan Chapman’s thunderous drive on the half-hour mark.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt made a double change at the start of the second half as Robin Ngalande and Getaneh Kebede came on, but it was Dikwena who looked the sharper.

Just two minutes after the restart Siphelele Mthembu lost his marker and rattled a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Ngalande then fired a fierce left-footed volley inches over, before Stars broke the deadlock on 60 minutes – and effectively ended the tie as a contest.

Mere found himself in acres of space down the right and put in a cross which Josephs could only parry to Ng’ambi, who made no mistake with his finish from close range.

The goal seemed to spark Wits into life as first Musa Bilankulu put a header just over the bar, before they levelled the scores on 72 minutes through great play from Kebede, who beat his marker before putting in a pin-point cross for Denver Mukamba to head home.

However, any thoughts of a comeback was quickly forgotten as Stars – and Ng’ambi – got a second. It was a carbon copy of the first, with Mere again afforded too much space as his cross was expertly buried by the Malawian.

Wits seemingly accepted their fate after that as the match petered out, with the final whistle bringing welcome relief to the home fans, and jubilation for Allan Freese and his team.

Follow me on Twitter @KickOffCooper

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