Platinum Stars Frustrate Sundowns

Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns played out to a 0-0 draw in their opening Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.  Sundowns would have felt hard done by with only pickng up a point from the match as they were by far the better team on the night.  The visitors started the brighter of the two sides and nearly took the early lead when Ramahlwe Mphahlele rose highest to meet Teko Modise’s pinpoint free-kick but his header went narrowly wide of goal.

Downs struggled to turn their dominance into goals as they could not produce the quality needed in the final third to break down Stars’ stubborn defence.  The hosts began growing into the game, with their best opportunity of the half falling to Bonginkosi Ntuli who latched on to Masibusane Zongo’s perfectly weighted pass but the forward dragged his shot wide across goal.  Pitso Mosimane’s men came close to breaking the deadlock in the 42nd minute when Khama Billiat fizzed in a cross but Fiston Abdul Razak could not apply the needed touch as it remained goalless at the interval.

The second stanza continued in a similar vein to the first, with the Brazilians having the lion’s share of possession but failing to find the cutting edge in Dikwena’s box.  Billiat and Razak both had decent chances to give the capital club the lead but neither could find a way past Mbongeni Mzimela in the home goal.  The visitors began pushing numbers forward in search of the winning goal, leaving them short at the back and they were nearly punished in the 77th minute when Eleazar Rodgers connected to Zongo’s whipped cross but Kennedy Mweene reacted well to keep out the resulting shot.

With time running out Mosimane’s men piled on the pressure and nearly snatched the win deep into added time but Mzimela produced a great save to keep Magokolodi Ngele’s curling effort out as it finished goalless in Rustenburg.  The result leaves both teams with a point a piece to open their league accounts.

Photo credit: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix